NDP wants audit of Charlottetown snow removal

Dave Stewart
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Joe Bystryk and his son York walk down Highland Avenue in Charlottetown Monday. They have to walk out on the street because sidewalks on both sides have not been plowed.

NDP Leader Mike Redmond says province should get involved and push for a third-party assessment of capital city's snow clearing

Prince Edward Island's NDP Leader is urging the provincial government to push for a third-party audit of Charlottetown's snow removal service.

"The difficulty caused by inadequate snow removal in Charlottetown over the last couple of weeks has been enormous,'' Mike Redmond said in a news release calling for Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan to get involved.

Redmond stated, "The mess hit the bottom line of many downtown businesses over the Christmas period. It was very uncomfortable and unsafe for people trying to get back and forth to work as well as senior citizens, people with disabilities and mothers with young kids."

Media reports and letters to the editor expressed serious concern about the snow problem with at least one local businessman calling for a new strategic plan for snow removal in the downtown.

"We need to get this problem out in the open but so far nobody in authority is doing anything", Redmond said.

The NDP leader indicated in November 2013 that P.E.I. was in great need of transparency concerning municipal governance in freedom of information legislation.

P.E.I. is the only Atlantic Canadian province not to include municipal transparency provisions in legislation.

The city corporation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • amazed
    January 02, 2014 - 09:09

    There are still parking spots snowed in downtown. Mike is not blaming the workers. Nor am I. It is management. The biggest screw ups always are. And on PEI mismangement at the top is rampant.

  • w kennedy
    January 01, 2014 - 23:13

    on the plus side...might need the money you couldn't spend ....good luck in nyear

  • Dylan
    January 01, 2014 - 21:18

    My part of King street was never plowed right and now there is about 6-8 inches of ice build up on the road. I've never seen it this bad, maybe a day or two, but weeks? What if we had a monster 50 centimeter dump. and since it is December there is obviously plenty of budget left....... What's going on??

  • Paul
    January 01, 2014 - 16:10

    Redmond should be careful what he wishes for. An "audit" (as he calls it) might reveal the problem has been with the city's unionized crews who plow the old city areas. The private sector contractors in other areas appear to be doing a great job. This would fly in the face of NDP dogma.

  • And counting
    January 01, 2014 - 14:21

    48 shares on facebook...pass it around... we do not have to be conned... on everything...all of the time.

  • Adolphus
    January 01, 2014 - 11:09

    A Nice guy, Mike. A Conservative crossing the floor to join the Liberals, No leader for the Tories, a phone call to get rid of Olive Crane... the HST, for God's sake, Plan B and more.. So what does the NDP do with all these gifts - nothing. Call down UPEI for parity for the girls' (sorry -ladies') basketball team; ask for a provincial overview of city street-cleaning. Wow! Whoever's advising Mike should be kicked out - today. The NDP will get less votes than the Green Party, if this keeps on. Let's go, Mike. Nice guys finish last; you're right on track.

    • twiggy
      January 01, 2014 - 14:18

      I was thinking earlier that every aspect of backward conservative thought was represented in thes comments except sexism. And then I read this post. Why are people so flustered about an independent review of a vital service? Lives could be at stake when the situation gets as out of control as it did last week. Why so angry at Mile Redmond? The City guy on CBC today did not seem to know how the snow removal system was managed. So why not have it reviewed and, if necssary, reformed? Maybe we need more resources to hire contractors. Why get so freaked out when safety concerns are beign voiced. Very bizarre comments.

    • huh
      January 01, 2014 - 18:29

      @twiggy. The actual point of this, or any story, tends to be moot for many posters. I can't explain it, but the desire to criticize, or complain, is so powerful (especially when politics is involved) that folks abandon critical thinking and simply write the first negative thing they can think of. That is why some of the "arguments" are bizarre, biased, and paper thin. Redmond's motive may indeed be about gaining press, but the issue is about snow removal. Is the city's current methods really above scrutiny? Why not review them, to make sure we can't do better?

  • Harry
    January 01, 2014 - 11:09

    This Redmond never stops amazing me on just how pathetic he really is!! Anyone that lives in Charlottetown knows of the snowfall we had and that the City crews (listen to some business owners) have done a good job considering the amount of snowfall!! Redmond continues to try to secure votes by ranting about everything but has NO solutions to any of his rants!! I said it before and will say it again go find something else to do with your life!!

  • Harry
    January 01, 2014 - 11:08

    This Redmond never stops amazing me on just how pathetic he really is!! Anyone that lives in Charlottetown knows of the snowfall we had and that the City crews (listen to some business owners) have done a good job considering the amount of snowfall!! Redmond continues to try to secure votes by ranting about everything but has NO solutions to any of his rants!! I said it before and will say it again go find something else to do with your life!!

  • Methinks
    January 01, 2014 - 10:22

    Very encouraging to see all these old school status quoe defending attacks on Mike Redmond and the NDP. What better proof that the NDP is surging forward as polling showed in 2013. What classic lowbrow bunk in most of these comments below. The City refuses to comment but the Comments section of the paper floods with backward comments out of minds that I have not advanced in decades. Not too many comments include spirited support for improved legislation on municipal government transparency. Not a hint of a critique of old school backward corrupt politicians who spend public budgets on private patronage. No. Just attacks on the guy who wants to see a bizarrely messed up situation accounted for. Well done Mike. 44 shares on facebook. Except for the scammers and the status quo defenders everybody is with you. Everybody knows that this situation is mismanaged and should be reviewed. This is a great move Mike. Do no let municipal government be a hiding place for provincial government patronage. Yes!!!!

    • Garth Staples
      January 01, 2014 - 16:56

      If you want more government control of your life and higher taxes and lower wages as a consequence vote NDP.

    • nitpicker
      January 01, 2014 - 18:17

      and if you want perfection, vote PC? That's what I glean from your posts.

    • PoorGarth
      January 01, 2014 - 19:42

      Poor little garth. Rejected by the conservatives. Rejected by the liberals. A failure in politics at every turn, and now we are supposed to take him seriously when he tries to talk about the NDP. What a joke.

  • david
    January 01, 2014 - 05:02

    Does Mike Redmond have any clue as to what he wants to be. One month he attacks Ghiz and lets on he wants to be Premier. Now this month it attack City hall does he want to be mayor now? Maybe Redmond should decide to run for an office that he is sure to obtain maybe that of dog catcher. It seems of late he has much to say about everything but offers little solutions for anything. Nice to see the PEI NDP has not changed.

  • Snow blow
    December 31, 2013 - 19:54

    Lots of people looking for work . Maybe if they pay a little more that minimum wage 10.50 an hour I'm sure they could have some that are willing to shovel for 8 hours a day

  • Poli Sci 101
    December 31, 2013 - 19:43

    This is just embarrassing. Mike Redmond doesn't understand the various levels of government. What's next? Is he going to tell us he's running for Mayor, Premier, Prime Minister, and President of Africa all at the same time? This guy is a joke. lol.

  • Vick
    December 31, 2013 - 19:11

    Redmond is a spokes person for Danny Redmond & Mitchel Tweel and its an election yr for Danny and Mitchel......the bs will start now! My god several back to back storms what more can any government do, there are only so many hrs in a day and all these storms have hit between midnight and 6 am.......sorry to say Mike I did have a little brain freeze back several months ago and thought for a few weeks I might vote for you but that has changed as have I am sure the whole staff and family of public works city of chtown............

  • Kimberly Griffith
    December 31, 2013 - 18:37

    First let me say I manage a retail business downtown and yes our bottom line was hit hard by the heavy snow fall during the last couple weeks before Christmas. However, it was not due to snow removal. I must commend the city for their efforts in this regard. Except for Christmas Eve, snow was completely removed from the downtown core (kent-grafting, queen-university and beyond) immediately after each storm. The issue wasn't the snow removal but the snow itself ie closed snow days. Now I realize Mayor Clifford Lee is powerful man, but I don't think he and his staff should be ctedited for unusually heavy snowfall amounts. I want to commend the efforts of the snow plow drivers, operators and sidewalk crews for working tirelessly during the holiday season to make our holidays possible. From clearing the roads and sidewalks to enable our Christmas shopping and coming in on Christmas Day to clean up around churches so we could worship. I'm sure you were missed by your families. Sincerest Thanks

  • Look out the window
    December 31, 2013 - 17:21

    It's winter for Petes sake with record snowfalls! Anything to get in the news I guess!

  • Make property owners clean the sidewalks
    December 31, 2013 - 15:19

    People complain about the snow removal but the city has limited resources and its drivers need time to rest after plowing during a storm. What the City of Charlottetown should do is enact legislation similar to London, Ontario which requires that property owners in the downtown remove all snow and ice from sidewalks (and not onto roads) by their properties by 10:00 am or else the City can invoice them for the removal costs. This would allow more workers to be available for road cleanup. I am reminded of the saying by John F. Kennedy and I will modify it slightly - "Ask not what your City can do for you but what you can do for your City".

    • Piet Hein
      December 31, 2013 - 15:36

      Make Property Owners...that was the law years ago until the city bought sidewalk plows. Not everyone is capable of cleaning their sidewalks - seniors, disabled or whatever. There are also many who cannot afford to pay someone to clean their walks so then what is to be done? Also the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled “snow and ice accumulating on public sidewalks . . . are the legal responsibility of the municipality, not the property owner.” And this holds regardless of bylaws or fines. The city owns the sidewalk and is ultimately responsible for keeping it clear. Also the City of London website only mentions that merchants in the downtown core are required to clear the sidewalk in front of their store. The city has plows to clear other sidewalks.

  • Guy Cousineau
    December 31, 2013 - 15:03

    Reality check Mike Redmond. We can have all the snow picked up 24 hours after a storm and have an endless supply of salt and sand. Are you prepared to pay 1000 more on your property taxes? Face it, we have had an unusual amount of snow in just a few days. The city and province are doing their best to manage the workload and keep the related costs manageable. I am not saying there is no room for improvement, but look at the effectiveness of snow clearing on an average snowfall week before you complain.

  • Misunderstood Mike
    December 31, 2013 - 14:38

    Redmond doesn't understand how government works. This is an issue for the City of Charlottetown and the mayor. Looks like he is another one who can't see outside the boarders of Charlottetown.

  • sick of complaints
    December 31, 2013 - 12:58

    To all the moaners this is winter. Get a reality check just what would you do if there was a real disaster. Or no electric to the stores the ambulance and fire Dept and police are able to respond. Some of the complainers should get off there rear and shovel. I live up west and there is one drug store that spends more time on Facebook complaining about the snow rather than shovel there steps or walk. 3 more months and it will be over. Have a Happy New Year

    • Jackofalltrades
      December 31, 2013 - 16:43

      You bring up an excellent point. What if there was a real disaster, would the city be prepared to handle it?