A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[URBAN NOTE] “A taste of real winter and Vancouver just can’t keep it together”

I post Gary Mason’s Friday column in The Globe and Mail so that I can criticize it more easily. Does it make sense to criticize Vancouver for not being prepared for an unexpected bout of weather? I write this, incidentally, on a day in Toronto where some centimetres of softly falling snow seem to be on the verge of shutting the town down.

Every few years or so, Vancouver gets to do something it does better than any other city in the country: embarrass itself.

This occurs when there is a snowfall. And when this happens, the rest of the country gets to laugh as the snowflakes that call Vancouver home melt into a puddle of tears and self-pity. Yet the hysteria that has greeted winter this year has set historic records for wailing and chuntering.

For those who haven’t heard, Vancouver has been experiencing a few weeks of real, genuine, Canadian winter. They are conditions the rest of the country (and B.C.) greets with a yawn around this time of year. But in Vancouver, it has touched off near riots.

There are now calls for an independent inquiry into how the city has managed the recent spate of snow and freezing rain. Yes, you read that correctly: an inquiry.

Look, I get that the city could have been better organized for the blast of winter it has received. It lost a gamble that the weather would warm, and the ice on the streets and sidewalks would melt. To be fair though, Vancouver is experiencing a weather reality it hasn’t faced in three decades.


Written by Randy McDonald

January 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm

One Response

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  1. My understanding is that the climate of Vancouver is a temperate one, not unlike that of Ireland, so it seems not unreasonable that the good burghers of that city would be less than prepared for the occasional freak occurrence of a to-them rare weather condition.


    January 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm

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