Wednesday, February 21, 2024

A Tip of the Toque to Those Who Clear Our Snow – Redux

By Stephen Vance, Editor

In previous years we at The Meaford Independent have made a point of thanking those who clear the snow from our roads, parking lots, and driveways in order to make living through an Ontario winter more bearable, and we had planned to do the same this year.

Last year’s thank you was published in February, however though only late November, the early start to this year’s snowy weather has prompted us to extend a reminder to everyone of how important a role snow removal personnel are to our daily winter life, and so here is a slightly modified version of last winter’s “Tip of the Toque to Those Who Clear Our Snow”.

I can’t imagine that it has been much fun to be a Meaford snowplow driver over the last few weeks. As all of us are painfully aware, November was one heck of an unexpected month on the snow front.

The nasty winter weather caused many meeting and event cancellations, road closures, several auto accidents, and school bus cancellations.

While cancellations of meetings, events, or other activities served to keep people safe at home and off the treacherous roads, the folks that drive our plows don’t have that option, and so they climb up into those big trucks, many with warm coffee in hand, and they head out on the roads to clear away the mess that winter so often creates.

How dedicated are Meaford’s snow plow drivers? One thing that has stuck with me since the 2009 municipal operations review was that Meaford’s plow operators voluntarily work through the winter without taking vacation time. No January vacations in warmer climates for these folks. No guaranteed time off over the holidays in December. During that operational review we were told that Meaford’s snow removal operation is run as efficiently as possible, and as a result, there is no wiggle room, no real options, we don’t have a team of spare drivers which would allow for things like vacations or sick days.

Something to think about if you find yourself driving freshly plowed roads on your way to the airport so you can hop on a plane with a sunny beach as your destination.

When we think of snow removal, we tend to think of the large municipal, county, or provincial plows that scrape, salt and sand our asphalt, but we shouldn’t forget the other members of our much needed snow removal team.

Scores of private contractors with their trusty trucks push, pull, and otherwise relocate snow so that our parking lots and home driveways can be driven upon without worry of becoming stuck – though what true Canadian hasn’t been stuck in the snow at some point?

In addition to those government snow removal workers, and those private contractors who scrape their blades along our parking lots and driveways there are also folks who take on the wrath of a winter snow storm, not with a piece of heavy equipment, but rather the trusty shovel. Whether it is a teenager hoping to earn some pocket money, or the folks from Community Living, they too are an important piece of the snow clearing puzzle.

Without those willing to take on the task of keeping our roads and highways clear of snow, allowing motorists to travel, and emergency services to maintain the speedy response times we’ve come to expect from such services, a month like this past November would certainly have been a hellish experience.

Thank you to all of those tasked with clearing the snow and helping to keep everyone safe. From the folks in the big plows, to the kids marching through a neighbourhood, shovels in hand, you provide a valuable service, that is most certainly appreciated by all of us.

Be the 1st to vote.

Popular this week

Latest news