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Vancouver mayor pleased with city's response to winter conditions

A worker clears snow from storm drains at Oak St. and 10th Ave. in Vancouver on Jan. 13, 2020. (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 photo)
Summary

Kennedy Stewart says workers have already been pulled from other departments, like bylaws, to help keep roads clear

He is confident the city can deal with the ongoing winter conditions

Kennedy also says he stands by his decision against allowing a warming tent in Oppenheimer park

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Vancouver’s mayor says he’s pleased with how crews have handled the snow so far.

Kennedy Stewart says workers have already been pulled from other departments, like bylaws, to help keep roads clear, and he is confident the city can deal with the ongoing winter conditions.

“We’ll have all of the resources we need to make sure that we do our job here at the city. If more resources are needed than the $1 million [from the budget], we will take them from somewhere else,” he says.

Stewart says they won’t have a repeat of the so-called “salt crisis” two years ago.

“I think we learned that lesson, so, as far as I’m concerned at this point, we have an adequate stockpile of salt to get through this…what they’re calling snowmageddon,” he says.

If there are people needing assistance, Stewart says they should reach out to the city.

“I think the idea people who are in difficulty, that they should call 3-1-1, and then we can see what we can do to get the city assistance there,” he says.


Kennedy also says he stands by his decision against allowing a warming tent in Oppenheimer park, where about 40 homeless people are camping in sub-zero temperatures.

“I think the warming centre is a much safer option. I’m glad we’re pursuing that and putting our resources into it,” he says, explaining a tent poses a threat for fire in the park.

Fiona York with the Carnegie Community Action Project says options are limited for those who have been living in tents for several months.

“The warming centre that’s nearest to Oppenheimer Park is really a drop-in centre. It’s not a place where people can go and sleep. It just happens to be open all night, but you still have to leave all of your things behind in the park –all of your belongings. So you could go back and find that everything has snow damage, or has gone missing,” she says.

With files from Lisa Steacy