Is the city of Vancouver scrambling for salt?
That’s the question after it emerged the city has turned to its neighbours in hopes of getting access to their road salt stockpiles.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart says it’s an unusual year on Metro Vancouver’s roads — bad enough that they’ve been fielding calls from other cities for access to their salt supplies.
“I know that there is one of the suppliers that ran out of salt, and that’s not our supplier, it’s a supplier for other municipalities. And we have received calls from some of those communities, including Vancouver, looking for additional salt, but we believe we’ve got enough for our own needs,” he says.
Among the callers was Vancouver, where icy roads and sidewalks are causing growing headaches for residents.
“We actually had to say no to Vancouver’s request, and I think it’s that’s going to be an issue all across the Lower Mainland because there is a shortage right now of road salt.”
Coquitlam wasn’t the only one to get a call. Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner says Vancouver also reached out to her city for help.
“Sorry,” was the reply.
Hepner says her city has now shifted to clearing residential streets, and that their supply is needed for the job.
The city of Langley also says it was forced to turn Vancouver down, after it asked for extra salt yesterday.
The city of Vancouver did not return a request for a list of cities it asked for help with salt, or for comment on the request to Coquitlam.
It also won’t say how much road salt it has left, or when it will receive more.
The city also says it’s in regular contact with suppliers in efforts to ensure a secure stockpile, and that its free salt giveaway at local fire halls won’t impact its response to expected snow this weekend.
It says Vancouver has already gone through nearly 7,000 tonnes of road salt this year, while recent years have only required about 1,000.
Two more deliveries of free salt are expected for 10 Vancouver fire halls tomorrow, one before noon and one in the afternoon.