At the beginning of a very eventful weekend in Quebec, the city should have gotten its snow removal vehicles out on Friday, accuses the opposition, which speaks of “incredible omissions” and says we “slept on the switch”.
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Quebec’s streets spilled after Thursday and Friday’s snowfall and many criticized the difficulty of getting downtown and parking. With the International Peewee Hockey Tournament, the Mardi Gras, the Superbowl and the restaurant dinners in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, downtown was taken by storm.
Photo Stephanie Martin
Patrick Paquet and Stevens Mélançon of Équipe Priorité Québec criticized the city’s management of snow removal and shared images of snow-covered streets on Monday, February 13, 2023.
Patrick Paquet, chairman of Équipe Priorité Québec, asked: “Has the city scheduled snow removal on Friday? If yes, why was it cancelled?
“Every time it snows, it’s a challenge,” he continues. Nevertheless, we are a city in the north. We lack leadership, every time it’s complicated. It’s Carnival weekend and we’ve seen some incredible failures.
His colleague Stevens Mélançon believes the Marchand government has missed an opportunity to plan. Yes, the snow was cleared, but according to him, a snow clearing trip should have been planned for Friday.
At the request of merchants and citizens, the winter service capability provides for no snow clearing work to be carried out on Fridays and Saturdays. But that doesn’t convince him. In his opinion, the extraordinary circumstances of the weekend should have required a different decision.
Patrick Paquet joked: “Thursday, Friday, Saturday it has to snow more. There the snow must fall from Sunday to Thursday.
The official leader of the opposition, Claude Villeneuve, on the other hand, accuses the Marchand administration of not having taken the right steps in strategic sectors.
“Downtown, to me, there’s no denying it should have been cleared of snow on Friday and it’s a mistake not to have brought the teams out.”
There is a political decision whether or not to release the machines, he added. “We had everything under control. […] If we didn’t expect it could become a problem, someone slept on the counter.
For him, “it is the job of the mayoral team, which includes Bruno Marchand and Pierre-Luc Lachance. In the end, they are the ones who are responsible for what is or is not being done in the city.
Patrick Paquet and Stevens Mélançon wondered if it was a budget issue. Claude Villeneuve said he did not dare “to accept the hypothesis that we took this decision for budgetary reasons. If that were the case, it would have been a huge scandal.”
No question of budget
According to the Marchand government, this is not the case. The mayor confirmed it at the end of the week and snow removal officer Pierre-Luc Lachance repeated it on Monday.
“It’s not about the money. In no time, snow removal is done relative to the money. Decisions are made to ensure compliance with the operating framework,” emphasized Mr. Lachance.
At the end of the week, Bruno Marchand agreed that with snowfall at the end of the week and a large crowd, the context was “perfect” for problems. He announced there would be a “post-mortem” on Monday. “We have to get even better.”
“There can be” flexibility in profitability policies, he said, while stressing that he inherited them from the previous government and that he is in the process of changing them. She was adopted in November 2020.
The rains began late Thursday afternoon and ended around 5 p.m. Friday. A total of 18 cm accumulated on the floor.