Canada News

Get the latest new in Candada


Edmonton will soon offer snow clearing services for seniors and people with disabilities

Low-income seniors and people with disabilities living in Edmonton will this winter be eligible to have snow around their homes cleared as part of an $857,000 a year pilot project.

The two-year Assisted Snow Clearing Program pilot project, will hire contractors to provide snow-clearing services, could start this winter.

Coun. Erin Rutherford, of Ward Anirniq, said the issue first came to light during a committee meeting when talk turned to increasing bylaw enforcement on sidewalk clearing.

Edmonton residents who don’t remove snow from their sidewalks can be fined $100 and potentially pay for clean-up costs.

It was noted that not everyone is able to shovel snow. 

“This would allow us to do both a compassionate approach for those that can’t while also being stronger in our enforcement of sidewalks that need to have proper snow clearing in the winter,” she told CBC’s Edmonton AM on Monday. 

LISTEN | Snow Clearing for seniors and people with disabilities

Edmonton AM5:38Edmonton exploring a better plan to help seniors clear their snow

The city is looking at a pilot project to help seniors and people with disabilities clear snow on their property. Council’s community and public services committee will look at the plan later today. Coun. Erin Rutherford represents Ward Anirniq.

The city has tried snow shovelling volunteer programs in the past like the Snow Angels program in 2015, where Edmontonians sign up to shovel snow for those who are not able to, but Rutherford said they would prefer something more consistent. 

“At the end of the day, sometimes folks that have disabilities or seniors with mobility issues and are low income, they need something that they can consistently rely on and know is going to be there,” she said. “I think it’s time that we have a formalized program for that.”

To offset some costs of the program, the pilot will use the Government of Alberta’s Special Needs Assistance for Seniors program, which provides financial assistance to low-income seniors to help afford specific health and personal supports.

The city would provide the service and bill the province thus alleviating the burden from seniors of paying and then waiting for reimbursement.

Edmontonians signed up for Dedicated Accessible Transit Service (DATS) and the Assisted Waste Collection program would be automatically entered for the service. They can opt-out if they want, according to the report. 

Feedback from the public pointed to Calgary’s Fair Entry program as a model to emulate. The program requires one application for a number of services including low-income transit pass, recreation fee assistance and senior’s home maintenance among other services. 

Rutherford said centralizing services in Edmonton is something she would definitely consider in the future.  

“We want to make sure that we get the money first and then we can figure out the fine details of the program,” she said.

View original article here Source