Petition to Oppose: Regina Saskatchewan City Councillors Proposal of Fines For Not Shoveling Snow on City Owned Sidewalks

Hello and good day, 

My name is Jesse Keith. I am a resident of Regina, Saskatchewan and I am creating this petition in regards to the recent preceedings toward a potential bylaw the Regina City Councillors are attempting to establish against residents who do not shovel the snow from the city sidewalks infront of their property. 

There will be a motion presented at the City Councel meeting on Monday Feburary 5th 2018, by Andrew Stevens and Lori Bresciani.

The proposal will call for residents to have their sidewalks cleared within 48 hours following a snowfall. If the sidewalks are not cleared, the city will send out a crew to have the area cleared and costs billed to the resident owner. If the resident has a repeated offence they will face fines along with associated cost of snow removal.

Based off CTV News Article "Stevens says the current policy of trying to encourage residents to shovel isn’t good enough."

“The latest numbers I’ve seen from the city suggest about 25 per cent of residential sidewalks are not cleared,” Stevens said. “That comes to about 250 kilometres of sidewalks that could be obstacles to people.” Andrew Stevens 

City council will vote on the motion next month.

Read CTV News Article Here

Here's where I stand on the matter: 

I'd like to start this off by stating that I am not trying to get out of any responsibilities. I always ensure my property and sidewalk is shoveled, and also do my neighbours if need be. I strongly agree that there is an issue that needs to be addressed but feel that the approach is wrong. I think people should be more just and upright citizens and help those who can't or have a hard time shoveling - or have the city step up and maintain their own property.

I agree that it is unfair to the elderly as well as the disabled, who must attempt to travel along sidewalks, where property owners do not maintain the city owned sidewalks. However at some point those sidewalks do come to an end and that person(s) must cross a street/intersection, where there are much more dangers than walking on a sidewalk that hasn't been maintained. The streets are full of pot holes or ruts that create a huge potential for not only the elderly and disabled but the public or residents of the community. The potential for any of these residents to fall while crossing the streets and get struck by cars are quite high and much more dangerous than falling on an un-kept sidewalk. Why are streets not being maintained just as properly as what is being proposed by this bylaw?

Why would we be held responsible for this when the city doesn’t even plow the roads where our elderly, disabled or children walk in order to get to schools, stores, friends, family etc? When they do plow the streets and push the snow onto the sidewalks, are we going to be responsible to remove the massive amount of snow placed on the sidewalk by a City of Regina Snow Plow? 

These sidewalks are owned by the City of Regina. As per my discussion with the City of Regina, they own 1 meter or 3.2808399 feet from the sidewalk. They told me a good reference point would be the large trees planted in the front yard (Elms), as those are on city property. My point is, we would be held legally responsible to remove snow off their property and if we failed to do so, we would be charged the cost for their workers to come and remove the snow from their property. If it happens more than once, we will get fined for repeated offence. 

Another important point to consider is, if this happens to go through, will all liability be pushed upon us, in the event someone gets hurt walking on the city sidewalks that were not maintained by the adjacent property owner? 

I understand a part of their point, trying to make access for people to walk safely when needed. Look at it this way though, how many people will this affect financially? It will literally force those who are elderly or disabled, out in a hazardous situation to attempt to remove the snow themselves because the extra cost will not fit their budget. The same people they are supposedly trying to protect are being subjected to financial burden as well as being injured trying to remove the snow themselves.

While I care for everyone's safety, to push this financial burden on residents with the already inflated taxes we pay to live here, is quite unreasonable. If you agree with this stance on the matter, please sign the petition. Another step would be to contact the councillor in your ward and express your opposition to the proposed bylaw.

Thank you for taking the time to read and be active on the matters that concern our residents.

Jesse Keith

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