City scaling back winter snowplow service
Toronto transportation officials say motorists' safety will not be compromised under its scaled-back winter snowplowing plan.
Transportation services general manager Gary Welsh says the cash-strapped city will save $3 to $4 million under its "refined" strategy, which will reduce plowing according to the weather.
Welsh said the city will not be sending its snowplows onto side streets in full force if the forecast calls for a warming trend right after the snowfall, which could melt the snow.
He said the city will now be monitoring a number of weather stations across Toronto to keep track of where the white stuff falls.
For instance, if there is an abundance of snow in Scarborough but little along the waterfront, snowplow trucks will only be sent to Scarborough instead of blanketing the entire city, as was the case in years past.
There is some opposition to the new snowplowing plan, including from the Canadian Automobile Association, which argues the safety of drivers is being jeopardized to save money.
Toronto is facing a $414-million budget shortfall next year.
Public Works committee chairman Glenn De Baeremaeker, however, said the safety of motorists is a top priority for the city.
"Our message to Toronto taxpayers is, 'We are here to protect you, to make sure that you're safe, to make sure that you go to work or to drop the kids off at school,'" De Baeremaeker said at a press conference. "Your roads are going to be safe."
With a report from CTV's MairiAnna Bachynsky