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The second snow day: Halifax responds

While people dug out again, thoughts moved to who should shovel sidewalks

3 min read
caption Wendell Coveyduc uses a snowblower to clear his driveway on Friday after the second snowstorm to Halifax in less than a week.
Mark Moffat
caption Wendell Coveyduc uses a snowblower to clear his driveway on Friday after the second snowstorm to hit Halifax in less than a week.
Mark Moffat

The second snow day for the Halifax Regional Municipality in less than a week hit on Friday.

This meant another round of snow-clearing for city crews, and shoveling for residents, which was completely fine with Ann Gates, 80.

Gates was shoveling away, like many of her neighbours in the mid-morning hour on a small stretch of Moira Street in Dartmouth.

“I don’t mind it, except when the wind blows,” said Gates during a quick break from shoveling in her garage.

“That’s when it blows snow everywhere.”

Everything went smoothly for Gates, who is still “okay with shoveling, for now.”

Meanwhile, at the end of the street, Ross Barkhouse was helping his grandparents shovel out before he had to go to Saint Mary’s University, where he is a student. The university delayed opening until noon.

Snow days are “always exciting,” said Barkhouse. “It was a lot more exciting when I was younger, but now I kind of have to shovel.”

Shelly Courtney, a registrar at Dartmouth High School, had a snow day herself, but she was hard at work nonetheless clearing the snow. Courtney is unfazed by the storms, she says.

“It’s the Maritimes,” said Courtney. “It’s par for the course. We have had a pretty easy winter so far.”

Wendell Coveyduc was getting his driveway ready for a delivery truck to arrive, while also taking care of his back walkway as well.

“I like snow,” said Coveyduc. “I’ve always got a lot to shovel. It’s good exercise. I just have to take it slow.”

It has been reported by the CBC that the municipality could save one million dollars if residents were once again required to shovel their sidewalks in Halifax.

And some in the city have complained about crews damaging properties with their equipment or not doing a good job, including District 9 councillor Shawn Clearly for Halifax West Armdale.

With snow-clearing contracts set to expire this year, councillors will have to decide whether to make residents shovel again before they set the new agreements for next year.

Gates said she’d rather shovel on her own.

“You can do it quicker,” she said. “If you wait for the city, you may get stuck.”

Coveyduc, on the other hand, prefers to see the city handling the snow.

“There have been times when the mailman would have a hard time getting to my door, so I would have to do it,” he said. “But now, anyone can get safely to the top of the steps.”

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