The City of Vancouver is bringing in salt all the way from Alberta and Saskatchewan, as it prepares for more ice and snow in the coming days.
Jerry Dobrovolny, General Manager of Engineering Services, told Daily Hive the City already has two local suppliers – but that’s not enough.
“We go further when local supplies can’t keep up and we stay local when we can,” said Dobrovolny on Monday.
He said the City could not provide constant updates on how much salt there was because it changed constantly, with trucks going in and out regularly.
“We’ve had good salt supply in the city’s hoppers,” Dobrovolny told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “We are confident we have enough salt for the forecasted snowfall.”
Some of that salt is being given to residents for free at local fire halls, but even with free salt available, some people have not been clearing their sidewalks, he said.
Dobrovolny said the City has already issued 9,000 warnings to people and businesses, with hundreds being advanced to tickets or prosecution already.
“I want to stress that our goal is behavioural change and not punishment,” said Dobrovolny, who added that 95% of people were clearing their sidewalks.
The City began giving out free ice-melting salt at fire stations around Vancouver last week, with many people desperately lining up to get their hands on the hot commodity.
However, in the first couple of days, the crowds turned into chaos as in the initial rush, supplies seemed to run out and many residents left empty handed.
Dobrovolny said demand for the free salt has dwindled in recent days, but the City would continue giving it out as necessary and was fully stocked to do so.