#saltgate (Vancouver’s true self)

All right, so it has snowed quite a bit, by Vancouver standards, for most of December.  You wouldn’t think this would be a big deal to me, especially since I grew up in Central Alberta, where snow is a welcome relief to cover the gross grass and dead plants in the fall.  The big deal to me, and others in Vancouver and the rest of the Lower Mainland, is how poorly we all deal with snow sticking to the ground more than a week or so.  And then, to be fair to our West Coast selves, the ice situation here can get out of hand quickly and create situations like this.  Driving is a pain in the ass in these conditions, especially since communities like North Vancouver and parts of New West are literally built into steep hills and mountains.  Free-fall sliding free-for-all.  And forget about parking when side streets are either unplowed for days at a time or plowed poorly (snow banks left in front of cars, blocking them in) creating nice, ice-packed ridges to scrape our low-to-the-ground car over each time we leave or arrive home .

But none of the above even remotely excuses the behaviour that’s been cropping up around Vancouver in the last couple days.  “Mayhem at Vancouver fire halls” was a top story today on some local newscasts.  Seriously.  Zero civility.  People bringing trucks with garbage cans to fill up with the city-offered free salt to haul it away – seemingly without regard that they live in a community with more than just themselves in it.  Don’t forget about the person reselling the ice on Craigslist later for a profit.  What a guy.

The hash tag #saltgate was trending on Twitter, and if you search for it, you find gems like this and this.

I found myself wincing as I captioned these various stories of people’s gross behaviour and lack of give-a-shitness for the community as a whole.  Use only what you need.  I don’t know when this became such a problem in real life.

Just as I was hoping that I won’t live in Vancouver when The Big One hits (pretty certain someone will steal clothes off my dead, crushed body.  Hell, I might not even be dead), I captioned a story of two men clearing a snow and ice-covered sidewalk for a boy in a wheelchair who couldn’t get to school  because of the ice issue the Lower Mainland has been dealing with.  And then that was followed by a picture of a man from another part of Vancouver, out with a smile on his face, helping his neighbours clear their walkways and sidewalks. The brief sound bite from the 69-year-old man scraping his property walkways and sidewalks clear because he didn’t want anyone to slip.

There it is.  Always look for the helpers.  They have the hope.

Scrape your sidewalks, friends.  Message me if you need help.



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