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Councillor Daniel Fontaine, New Westminster, and Councillor Linda Annis, Surrey, continue to push for snow summit as snow and colder temperatures forecasted

December 16, 2022: With snow and colder temperatures in the forecast, Councillors Daniel Fontaine of New Westminster and Linda Annis of Surrey continue to push the provincial government and Metro Vancouver for a regional snow summit that would work to prevent a repeat of the transportation chaos that brought the region to a standstill late last month.

“We have reached out to the Minister of Transportation and the chair of Metro Vancouver, but we have not heard back from them at this point,” said Fontaine. “We know that last month we were not prepared as a region, and as a result the Lower Mainland was virtually shut down, with people taking eight or nine hours to get home. A snow summit that includes the province, Metro Vancouver, first responders, road maintenance contractors, and municipalities just makes good sense as we work to avoid the chaos of last month.”

Annis said it took her more than nine hours to get home to south Surrey from Vancouver on November 29 as traffic came to a standstill across the region.

“The fact is a few inches of snow should not shut down the entire region, but looking back it’s clear we were not ready, and things went from bad to worse in just a few short hours,” added Annis. “Getting all of us together to understand what went wrong and what we can do differently is essential if we’re going to avoid something similar, particularly as we head into winter. How do other regions across Canada and the United States that get much more snow than us keep going, and what can we learn going forward? We must get better, and we have to do it together with the province and Metro Vancouver.”

Fontaine and Annis said while the snow summit should be candid about what happened and what went wrong last month, the real focus should be on learning how the entire region can be better prepared.

“Metro Vancouver has a population of 2.6 million, and covers nearly 3,000 km,” added Fontaine. “Our region is British Columbia’s biggest economic engine, so keeping it moving, even in bad weather, has to be a priority for all of us. As a result, we’re looking forward to hearing from the province and Metro Vancouver, particularly as winter begins and we already have more snow and colder temperatures forecasted for the coming week.”