Snow clearing operators facing increased harassment
Winter might be winding down, but some snow-clearing operators say this season has been particularly brutal when it comes to altercations with residents.
A statement from the Helen Noehammer, director of works operations and maintenance with the City of Mississauga said during the storm on March 3 and 4, there were eight reported incidents between residents and winter operations team.
“The incidents included verbal abuse as well as damage to plow trucks by residents using their shovels to break lights and mirrors,” the statement said.
“City snow-clearing crews and operators have been experiencing escalating harassment and violence — including verbal and physical abuse, threats and unacceptable behaviour from several residents upset about snow-clearing operations.”
Mortimer Davis, who works with National Snow Removal, a company that services both commercial and residential clients, said he’s noticed similar behaviour when working.
“They are just screaming and screaming, ‘What are you doing?’ … and it just sucks when it’s just beating you down when you’re just trying to do the best you can do,” he said.
“It gets hectic.”
Mississauga city councillor Sue McFadden tweeted a photo last week of a truck that sustained window damage.
Sue's eNews | Let respect and cooler heads prevail – https://t.co/LJhIw0tQT3 pic.twitter.com/aE0SwQNl3o
— Sue McFadden (@Sue_Ward10) March 10, 2023
Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie said the city has received a lot of complaints about windrows, piles of snow and ice that forms at the end of the driveway once a snowplow comes through.
“That’s the wall of ice at the end of the driveway when the plow comes at the end of your street,” she said.
“We just ask that people be patient and be kind. These are people that are working through the night to get your roads clear during the snowfall. … They are putting themselves through unsafe conditions to keep you safe.”
Harassment against snow-clearing operators has been reported in other cities in the GTA as well.
Last week, a 32-year-old man from Oshawa was charged with assault after he got into an altercation with a snowplow driver.
Markham mayor Frank Scarpitti said the city of Markham has also received similar reports.
“We’ve had some isolated incidents with the snowplows — some interference. I wouldn’t say blocking them, I would say interfering and some items thrown at trucks,” Scarpitti said.
Davis said with the season winding down, he is encouraging people to be patient during big snowfall events.
“We just have to have patient. … because we are all in this together and we are all working for each other,” he said.
by Global News