City of Vancouver spends more money due to cold and long winter

Officials say this past winter’s conditions meant the City had to spend more money for snow removal-related costs. Some factors included snow and ice, below freezing temperatures and significant buildup of ice especially parts in higher elevations.

Also, the City had to buy more salt and sand than usual. In December 2015 to January 10th, 2016, the City spent $158,669.06 on salt and sand. This rose to $1,279,975.39 in the same period in 2016/2017 - an increase of approximately eight-fold over the prior year.

The annual Operating Budget includes a $4 million Council Contingency that includes unexpected weather, like snow or any future unusual weather or emergency events.

The City's Snow Removal Plan, received by Council on April 9th, 2013, set out City policy to fund costs related to major snow and ice events from the annual operating budget contingency.

Vancouver spends considerably less on snow removal than other centres, such as Toronto, that increased its budget from $84 million in 2016 to $94 million in 2017. Toronto had a budget of $11 million for salt. Calgary had a snow-clearing budget around $37 million. Ottawa - spent $67.4 million on snow last year. Edmonton spends around $54 million annually. Montreal - budgets $155 million every winter.

For a copy of snow response update from the General Managers of Finance, Risk and Supply Chain Management and of Engineering Services, please visit

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