The cold weather advisory that Vancouver forgot about

vancouver-weather-nov2010
It’s getting cold in Vancouver this week, and our most vulnerable will be affected

"What we have here is failure to commun’cate," goes the famous line spoken by actor Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke. And so it goes with the City of Vancouver after its first brush with freezing weather, and a light dusting of snow on front lawns. As of this morning there is no cold weather advisory from the City posted on its website, asking the attention of our citizens to be more vigilant in the face of dipping temperatures.

At Thursday’s council meeting City Engineers Neal Carley & Murray Wightman apparently gave a very impressive presentation on how their department plans to deal with snow. The City has always had the ability to deal with heavy snow – just not always the political will, as evidenced during Snowmageddon.

What the City failed at then, and has the opportunity to improve now, is their communications. Many of us remember the Nine Dark Days when the City’s communications blacked out during Snowmageddon, and Mayor Robertson was sunning himself in Cuba (not Mexico as reported earlier). This year, when cold weather is predicted, let’s hope that the City has learned its lesson.

What the City of Vancouver’s communications department seems to be more interested in is developing a cult of personality around Vancouver’s Ken Doll mayor, when it really should be keeping citizens informed. Cold weather is here, and we know that Robertson has run out of money for additional shelters thanks to expenditures like his $260,000 office renovation. We can only hope that there will be enough places to comfort those who don’t have a roof over their head this winter.

So to all of our readers, if you do see those who could use help be sure to call 311. We don’t need anymore avoidable deaths on our street like that of Ken Chartrand, who recently passed away on the streets of the West End despite the fact people cared about him.

UPDATE: The City has posted this bulletin this morning. No pictures of Gregor Robertson in it. A good start.

– post by Mike

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  • boohoo

    jeez, this is a bit of a stretch.

  • Good morning, boo. Is it a stretch to ask the City to commit to focusing on what’s important instead of their glossy promotions of Gregor Robertson? The City has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in videos and public relations campaigns to promote the Mayor, yet he still puts his hand out to the Province pleading poverty when it comes to cold-weather shelters.
    We’ve seen continually throughout their term of government that the City is always three steps behind when it comes to communications. Whether it was Snowmageddon (when everyone took their required vacation time and no one was left to man the helm), or the case of Curtis Brick dying in the summer heat. Vancouver can do a lot more to be ready for prime time.

  • “As of this morning there is no cold weather advisory from the City posted on its website, asking the attention of our citizens to be more vigilant in the face of dipping temperatures.”
    First item under “What’s New” on the city home page is “Are You Ready For Snow?”

  • http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/streets/maintenance/snowIce.htm
    What information is lacking here Mike?

  • George

    Chris,
    What is missing in the link you provided is where are the cold weather shelters for the homeless.
    Homeless know it is cold but don’t have walks to shovel. I have been told that the city has purchased snow blowers to clear “bike lanes”. so your group is covered.
    What is not covered are the homeless, even the blankets handed out in the big photo op this week won’t help as they will be soaked within minutes.
    Just wondering where a homeless bike rider would access that info, without a computer or wifi or electricity to plug that computer in to get that info, in the middle of the cold snowy night..the compassionate side of me is just asking…since that was what inspired Gregor to run for Mayor bailing out on his MLA job, costing taxpayers a bunch of money for the election of a new MLA… You do remember Tracey…

  • Wasn’t there when I wrote post, Chris. I just heard the bulletin on the radio and saw the page and have updated my post. They clearly got their butts in gear on this, adding the important info about being vigilant regarding street people. I knew they would once we posted.
    And thankfully there’s not a photo of Gregor spoon-feeding someone hot soup on the page. That’s probably coming though.

  • George

    Mike, Chris,where is that page and why is it our responsibility and not the city’s responsibility….
    the “exact same speak lines” where quoted recently in the Courier when the autopsy report was released for Curtis Black.

  • “Chris,
    What is missing in the link you provided is where are the cold weather shelters for the homeless.”
    Then why don’t you provide that information? Put aside the partisan sniping and perform a public service.
    “I have been told that the city has purchased snow blowers to clear “bike lanes”. so your group is covered.”
    An unsubstantiated allegation and a personal attack. You’re 0 for 2 on your own code of conduct rules Mike.
    “Just wondering where a homeless bike rider would access that info, without a computer or wifi or electricity to plug that computer in to get that info, in the middle of the cold snowy night..the compassionate side of me is just asking…since that was what inspired Gregor to run for Mayor bailing out on his MLA job, costing taxpayers a bunch of money for the election of a new MLA… You do remember Tracey…”
    The crocodile called and wants its tears back Mike. You’re not seriously asking your readers to believe that the City put together a bulletin and FAQ on winter weather between the time you posted this diatribe and the time I found it on the front page of the city’s website? If they are that efficient then I’m glad they’re running the show.
    This site doesn’t live up to its billing as a fun place to discuss urban issues. This however, seems to be a pretty good description:
    “Yellow journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension “Yellow Journalism” is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism

  • I conflated Mike and George’s posts. I heard they’re the same person anyway, so no worries. 🙂

  • George

    Chris that info about blowers for bike lanes is posted by cyclists on Frances Bula site when I asked for clarification the poster didn’t respond so I contacted 311.
    What sniping, I asked you to tell me where is the link, all I could find was snow shoveling info,
    I personally think you need to settle down… as for bringing in the homeless aspect to this conversation it is my right as a taxpayer, since we are discussing cold weather… I think you are being extremely hyper sensitive. (NOTE my opinion, and I’m entitled to one)You’re trying to railroad a conversation into something else… I like Max don’t bully easily.

  • “You’re trying to railroad a conversation into something else”
    Nonsense. You made an unsubstantiated allegation and a personal attack. It’s quite clear that’s against the rules for this site, even if the owners don’t enforce them. I certainly have the right to call you on it.
    The topic is whether or not the City has a cold weather advisory on their website. They do. On the home page. End of story.

  • George

    Chris
    I assure you Mike and I are very different people.
    My points are my concerns as a compassionate citizen. I found your posts disingenuous and only concerned your agenda.
    I brought out what I felt was an issue important to me.
    The world doesn’t just revolve around you and bikes Chris….now who is sensationalizing things.
    I feel a “spin” here…

  • “The world doesn’t just revolve around you and bikes Chris….now who is sensationalizing things.”
    Then why did you bring it up? Please debate with integrity George. That process begins by addressing the issue, not unrelated facts about who’s offering an on-topic comment.

  • George

    What personal attack, you are being ridiculous, you are the one causing a problem Chris.
    As well you haven’t responded to my question where is the link advertising the shelters on your link I can’t find it…simple question.
    I’m asking for help from you, a much more experienced computer research person, to pass the info on to the homeless during a cold spell as they don’t have access to computers during the night. I’m trying to do my part but I can’t get past your posturing.

  • George

    Right back at you Chris…I think you should be very careful throwing around that integrity word my friend.
    You are in my opinion being a bully

  • George

    If you read this article Chris we are discussing Cold Weather in the article it discusses cold weather shelters, or the lack there of…
    your first post directs us to a city link talking about snow removal…of roads and sidewalks..I sincerely don’t think I was off topic by any means.

  • Max

    @ George:
    You are correct on the snow blowers for the new bike lane:
    …..’The city also has a plan to keep the new separated bike lanes clear. Two new snow blowers are on the way and will be used in part to keep Dunsmuir and Hornby streets clear.
    Source:
    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/11/10/bc-ski-season-la-nina.html#ixzz15kdHLjXM

  • George

    Thanks Max.. 🙂 that explains things..

  • George:
    Last post for the day and then you can have the echo chamber all to yourself.
    Google search Vancouver Homeless shelter and you’ll get a link to a list in the first result. If you can type you can find a shelter. Now you have the information you need to share it on City Caucus. Stop making it about me and start making it about the thing you’re ostensibly concerned about. As for being a bully, that’s crap. You made it personal (and off-topic) right away. That’s bully behaviour. Asking you to abide by the rules of this forum is simply standing up for my right to speak without having anonymous whiners making unfair comments about my motivations. If that’s cricket, then I guess it OK to for me to suggest that you have zero interest in actually helping anyone. You’re sole motivation is clearly to attack Vision Vancouver. I mean c’mon it’s obvious by your posts. How much does the NPA pay you to conversation mine anyway?
    See how this goes… down, down, down. Now, if you want to make a case that the City is missing the boat by not putting a list of homeless shelters on its website, then fine, let’s discuss. But it has nothing to do with bikes, so why did you bring it up?

  • George

    Chris
    Point is homeless folks don’t have access to web sites…. I’m a Vision Member, and you have no idea what I do for the marginalized in our society.

  • George

    Last post for me too Chris…. you brought in the bikes when you brought up snow removal with your very first post… I’m off to my gig now handing out food for the day…..for folks that don’t have much…

  • George:
    Your political affiliation or work (volunteer or paid) is not the issue. You claim to want help by providing a list of homeless shelters. You were given the tools to do so. Why aren’t I reading that list right now?
    You claim to want to discuss the City’s approach. You aren’t doing so.
    You appear only to want to argue with me.

  • Max

    @George (again):
    It seems the topic of homelessness has fallen off the city’s radar since they rode in on that coat tail during election time.
    Robertson and VV have since laid it at the feet of the Minister, the Province and the Federal Government.
    To think the city cannot come up with enough $$ to open the shelters during extreme whether conditions yet can throw money to the wind for a variety of pet projects is mind boggling.
    With that, I hope the average citizen helps out however they can.
    I have one gentleman (who is 60) that is a fixture in our neighborhood as well as a few others that appear every other day or so.
    I provide at least one hot meal along with sandwiches – everyday during this time.
    Yup, it costs money, and thank heavens for Costco, but, I can’t just walk by. (My boyfriend figures I need a 12 step program)
    Do what you can and hope for the best, but don’t rely on the city for help.

  • Bollocks. Klassen claimed in his first paragraph there was no cold weather advisory and I pointed out there was.
    Klassen doesn’t even mention homeless people until the third paragraph of his post and the first three paragraphs concern snow removal and communications.

  • “To think the city cannot come up with enough $$ to open the shelters during extreme whether conditions yet can throw money to the wind for a variety of pet projects is mind boggling.”
    From the Vancouver Sun:
    “On Thursday night Vancouver city ordered three temporary shelters in the downtown and central areas opened to allow people to get out of the weather. And with forecasts showing temperatures will drop to as low as minus 7 degrees by Tuesday, the extreme weather alert is not likely to be rescinded any time soon.
    The addition of the three temporary shelters adds 328 emergency beds to a suite of more than 340 beds already available in three Homeless Emergency Action Team (HEAT) shelters that continue to be funded by the provincial government.”
    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Snowfall+warning+Metro+Vancouver+temporary+homeless+shelters+open/3855839/story.html#ixzz15komFt5e

  • George

    Well Chris now your are making me go back on my word…. you said that the last last post was your last word…
    A man is only as good as his word… I find yours disingenuous…
    I do help out of the goodness of my heart, no pay, can you say that?
    Not my job to do the post I pay my government to do that…homeless people can’t read posts..
    AND AROUND AND AROUND OUR CONVERSATION GOES, YOU STILL HAVEN’T ANSWERED QUESTIONS AND YOU ARE THE ONE THAT STARTED ARGUING WITH ME, and Mike…That my friend is my understanding of a CONVERSATION MINER.

  • Max

    Chris:
    Note ‘funded by the Provincial government’ not the city.

  • “AND AROUND AND AROUND OUR CONVERSATION GOES, YOU STILL HAVEN’T ANSWERED QUESTIONS AND YOU ARE THE ONE THAT STARTED ARGUING WITH ME, and Mike”
    More lies from you George?
    I answered your questions. I refuted Max’s last post. I pointed out Klassen’s error in his post and provided a link to the cold weather advisory he claimed didn’t exist. I invited you to actually discuss what you claim to be the issue.
    You’ve told us what a great guy you are.
    The thread speaks for itself.

  • Max:
    Do you care about whether there’s homeless shelters or who signs the cheque? Which aspect of the issue is more important to you?
    Either way it’s tax dollars.

  • George

    Yes Chris I am a nice guy, that is why I can put the needs of others before myself…can you say that? Can Gregor?
    As I said homeless people can’t plug their computers in to access those non existent shelters… but you can rest assured that you can ride your bike since the city has purchased those blowers for ya…
    Funny how you didn’t repeat the part of my quote about conversation mining 🙂

  • George

    Yes!!! shelters are open!!!!

  • “Funny how you didn’t repeat the part of my quote about conversation mining :-)”
    Is it on topic? Are you suggesting I am paid to post blogs? Please re-read the house rules of this website.

  • George

    No Chris I NEVER said you got paid, guilty conscience?
    In my opinion Conversation mining is when someone goes to sites and redirects any negative information about their particular agenda….. ie. snow blowers for bike lanes….that is what started this war of words between us.. get over it.
    did you notice the city opened the Homeless Shelters!!!
    good news right?

  • “The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.”
    – William Hutton

  • George

    Chris I notice you were taking a verbal kicking over at Frances Bula’s today. is that why you can’t stop yourself…funny how when many of us point out your arrogance and conversation mining you get mean spirited and become quite a bully.
    For the record I am one of those poor close to homeless folks so I pay it forward and am extremely proud of it. So your searching for lofty quotes is pretty funny.
    After reading your 200 word rant today I had quite a laugh, loved the way it was rejected by your audience.
    You I’m afraid are just a very little man, that needs to have the last word..so be it…. Kumbaya pass the kool-aid.

  • Gregory

    Has anyone seen the crazy rule the city of Vancouver is rolling out?
    Residents will need to shovel their sidewalks of snow by 10am the next day after a snowfall.
    Sooooo……. Does that mean the city is going to have snow police roaming the streets when they cant clear the roads that fast themselves? Are they going to pit neighbor against neighbor to rat on each other? What’s the fine going to be?

  • “The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.”
    Just thought I’d weigh in with this cover story from the National Post on US charities funding social change here in BC. Is Vision Vancouver receiving money from charities? http://bit.ly/ai2fmt

  • “You I’m afraid are just a very little man, that needs to have the last word.”
    I guess the ‘no personal attacks’ rule is more of a guideline or perhaps merely a suggestion?

  • “Has anyone seen the crazy rule the city of Vancouver is rolling out?
    Residents will need to shovel their sidewalks of snow by 10am the next day after a snowfall.”
    You mean the rule referenced in this news release from Nov 2006?
    http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/newsreleases2006/NRsnowremoval.htm
    “City of Vancouver News Release
    November 27, 2006
    Vancouver property owners: snow removal reminder
    The City of Vancouver reminds all property owners that they are responsible for clearing snow and ice from the sidewalks that surround their property by 10 a.m. the day after a snowfall.
    The City’s Street and Traffic bylaw applies to all property owners in the city EXCEPT one- and two-family residences outside the downtown peninsula….”

  • Terry

    Not so fast Chrissy. Are you trying to imply that your Vision buddies didn’t change the rules and increase the fines for single family home owners? Read on my friend.
    CBC News – November 2009 (during Vision’s administration)
    “The City of Vancouver is considering a proposal to force all homeowners in the city to remove snow from their sidewalks.
    Already, owners of properties in the downtown core and multi-unit residential properties outside the downtown — such as condominium and apartment buildings — are required to keep their sidewalks snow-free.
    “What we’re proposing is that council consider expanding that bylaw to include all properties,” said assistant city engineer Neal Carley. “So even single-family residences and duplexes would then be required to shovel their sidewalks.”
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/11/27/bc-vancouver-snow-removal-bylaw.html

  • Max

    @George:
    Honestly, I have no problem with the city putting into place this by-law.
    In 2008, too many older and disabled people struggled just to get to the grocery store for basic supplies. I know this as on one of my trips out, I helped a little lady make her way up West 4th to the Safeway.
    None of the sidewalks out front of the buildings or shops were cleared.
    She was not dressed for the weather, wearing just basic shoes. She reminded me of my little grandmother.
    People at complex took turns keeping our area clear and we will do this same this year.
    Hey, shoveling snow may not be fun, but it is a pretty good work out and the fresh air does you good!

  • “Not so fast Chrissy. Are you trying to imply that your Vision buddies didn’t change the rules and increase the fines for single family home owners?”
    Nope. Trying to have a fun, civil debate without partisan sniping. Came to the wrong place I guess.

  • david hadaway

    God almighty, Chris, you can be a pain in the ass when you try. I mean, in this thread alone, prodding George into describing his charitable work then accusing him of pride and ostentation! As for writing ‘no more comments’ then suffering a bout of verbal diarrhoea, that is beyond parody!
    I’m sure that in real life you are a nice guy and you do have things to say but you’re making yourself seem like a bit of a wanker.
    Here is some good advice, which I’ve actually tried to apply to myself. Take some time off, take stock of what’s important to you and then post with restraint.

  • gregory

    In 2008, too many older and disabled people struggled just to get to the grocery store for basic supplies. I know this as on one of my trips out, I helped a little lady make her way up West 4th to the Safeway.
    ====================
    What about older or disabled people who own a home. This is a bit too heavy handed.

  • THE SERVANT’S OF HOPE SOCIETY
    Feeding the Homeless at Christmas
    Bringing the message of Hope And Recovery to the Downtown Eastside. The success of the last 4 years of outreach involved over 60 people getting together with minimal financial and material support. We were still able to feed and meet the needs of over 600 people each year. The majority of the people involved with helping this cause had a history of substance abuse and a high percentage of those people came from the downtown eastside and are now free from their addictions and are productive members of society today. It is both a privilege and an honour for me and the people involved being able to give back to those in need during such a dark and lonely time.
    This years event will be held on Monday December 20, 2010 at 6pm in Pigeon Park