Mike Becher

Mike Becher

Editorial: Chill out with winter

NANAIMO – The region is experiencing its snowiest, coldest winter in recent memory.

It doesn’t get more Canadian than watching a plow push a small wall of snow and ice into your just-shovelled driveway.

But for residents of Nanaimo, it’s a scene we usually see play out in other communities as we watch winter happen on the news from across the country, rather than out our windows.

Vancouver Island and the south coast are in the midst of one of the snowiest, coldest winters in recent memory, in which snow lingered on the ground for weeks rather than days. Another wallop is expected today (Feb. 9), as the cold front that’s been hovering the past week meets a more typical warm Pacific system bringing copious amounts of precipitation. That could mean snow and freezing rain.

City crews and B.C. Hydro workers have been tasked with keeping services running as best they can during this unusual winter.

Garbage and recycling collection has been modified as workers were redeployed to help clear city streets of snow and ice build up. Hydro crews are working round the clock to restore power across the Island as a series of storms has damaged lines this winter.

For a city that only sees snow once, maybe twice per year, we think city crews are doing a good job keeping the city open for business.

We’ve yet to have a zamboni driver take snow plowing into his or her own hands as happened in Saanich this past week. Police stopped the driver who was attempting to plow a cul-de-sac so that a family member was able to drive out the following day. He was thanked for his enthusiasm and sent home.

What we don’t think is good is some of the abuse that residents hurl at city workers, who are out clearing snow and ice, salting and sanding city roads so we can all get where we’re going despite the snow.

As the rest of the country knows, clearing ice and snow is just a part of winter in Canada. Going anywhere in the winter takes longer and needs more preparation; family and friends from across the country are more than happy to offer advice for dealing with actual winter.

If you feel the urge to shake your fist at the snow plow driver, we suggest residents take a cue from Old Man Winter and chill out. The rain will return soon enough.

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