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Montreal putting snow-removal plans together during COVID-19 pandemic

Click to play video: 'Montreal’s mayor warns Covid-19 could create obstacles for snow removal' Montreal’s mayor warns Covid-19 could create obstacles for snow removal
WATCH: Montreal's snow and ice removal operations will face challenges this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The mayor admits new procedures may cause some delays when snow clearing efforts first begin. But as Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, operations should get back on track quickly – Nov 9, 2020

The weather outside is not exactly stormy but Montreal city officials are gearing up for this season’s snow-removal operations.

New safety measures are being established to keep employees safe while the COVID-19 pandemic persists.

Physical distancing indoors will be required to protect workers.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante admits the new protocols may delay snow removal operations — but only at the beginning.

“It might be the case that it will affect snow removal. I think it’s reality. That’s what we’re all now living with,” Plante said during a Monday morning press conference.

Read more: Icy sidewalks creating dangerous conditions in Montreal

Two thousand free additional parking spots are being made available so people can avoid having their cars towed while snow is being removed.

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But some people fear that clearing snow and ice off sidewalks won’t be done in a timely manner, especially around bus stops.

“There are often these huge ridges of ice at the stops and on corners, which are probably the biggest single problem for pedestrians when they’re crossing the street or getting off the bus, in particular,” Nigel Spencer, founder of Montreal Pedestrians, told Global News.

Read more: Businesses, cities look to give Canadians outdoor rec options during pandemic winter

The mayor insists that won’t be the case but adds the responsibility sits with the city’s boroughs.

Montreal’s opposition leader complains that Plante is simply passing the buck.

“When she says that she expects the boroughs to take care of the sidewalks and tries to absolve herself of any responsibility, it’s honestly shameful,” said Lionel Perez.

Many Montrealers just want the city streets and sidewalks cleared quickly this season — pandemic or not.

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