Delayed Snow Removal in Châteauguay

Yanick Michaud
Delayed Snow Removal in Châteauguay
Eric Corbeil. (Photo : Le Soleil-Denis Germain)

Many Châteauguay residents are expressing discontent regarding snow removal operations following Tuesday’s significant snowfall. It began during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday.

The City of Châteauguay, however, believes that they did the right thing. “It’s our way of doing things. We prefer to do the work at night. The primary reason is that it is more efficient. Due to the overnight parking ban on the street. It makes the work easier. The operation runs more smoothly,’ explained Eric Laparé from the City of Châteauguay’s Communications Department.

However, he added that some citizens fail to understand why operations are undertaken so late. “We want roads to be completely cleaned in the morning for people to leave for work. And in the case of a huge snowfall, truckers cannot drive for too long without taking a mandatory 8-hour break. We cannot stop in the middle of the night because we started too early,” he argued.

A Significant Snowfall

Nevertheless, Tuesdays’ precipitation left 20 cm behind in the region. Sometimes more due to the accumulation. “Yes. But when we made the decision about whether or not to take the trucks out in the middle of the day at 1 pm on Tuesday, there was only three centimetres on the ground. And the forecast wasn’t indicating that there were another 17 to come. Weather is an inexact science,” advised Eric Laparé. “In hindsight we might have sent out a few machines.”

He completed by mentioning that major arteries are maintained throughout the snowfall. “We cannot leave boulevards with accumulations during the day. But if citizens are not able to move through the streets in their neighbourhood, they can always reach public works for emergencies,” he said.

Altercation With Truck Driver

Mr. Laparé stated that an unfortunate incident involving an angry citizen and a snow removal worker had occurred overnight. “A disgruntled citizen went after a snow removal worker. An aggression toward one of our employees. Police intervention was required. As a result, the vehicle was not in operation despite the significant snowfall. It was noticed and caused some snow removal delays in at least one of the city’s districts,” concluded Eric Laparé.

Officer Jenny Lavigne from the Châteauguay Police Department confirmed the police dispatch. “There was an altercation, but it is important to know that snow removal staff are doing their job. If they are called upon to do it at night, that’s because it’s easier. And they’re doing it so that the roads are safer for everyone,” explained the officer who sought to create awareness about respect for essential workers.

Unreasonable Delays

As for City Councillor Eric Corbeil, he laments the delays. “It’s difficult. It has been going on for 30 years. Secondary streets are all only cleared the night after the snowfall ends. It’s a battle I have been waging since 2018. Trying to change that. This year had been going well. Finally. But yesterday not a single secondary road had been cleared despite a 20 cm snowfall,” he recounted.

“In my district, there are nurses, bus drivers, who needed to get out and had difficulties. However, this year has been extraordinary. Up until yesterday with a few feet of snow thanks to wind and the accumulation effect,” the councillor for Ward 3–De Robutel stated. “I will continue to fight so that things improve.”

(Translation Amanda Bennett)

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