Brampton residents protest snow-clearing fines

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Following complaints about some residents not clearing the snow on their sidewalks were slapped with a fine on their tax bill.

At the May 15 Brampton council meeting, six residents came forward asking the city to forgive their fines. The city council meeting was to discuss the city’s sidewalk snow-clearing standards.

According to city bylaws, residents have until 11 a.m. the day after a major snowfall to clear residential sidewalks and walkways in some parts of the city or face up to $2,000 in fines and charges to have a private contractor do the work.

According to reports, the city received about 2,000 complaints this past winter.

If a resident doesn’t properly clear the snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of their property and a neighbour complains, the city will dispatch a bylaw officer to the residence or property and issue an eight-hour warning.

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Once that expires the city can call in a private contractor and back charge the property owner on their tax bill.

According to one resident, they received a $250 fine as well as a $50 administrative fee in addition to the city’s cost to remove the snow.

Meanwhile some councillors and residents believe that snow removal contractors overall did a pretty shoddy job.

While council voted against reducing or removing the fines at the May 15 meeting, it did pass a motion to refer the issue back to staff to report back at a later meeting.

The problem is that there are many homes that are rented out and renters either don’t care or believe it is not their responsibility to clear snow off the sidewalk. In some instances, property owners are either unwell, elderly or disabled. In which case it is still the homeowner’s responsibility to get someone else to do it or request the neighbour to clear their sidewalks. -CINEWS

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