One community member is hoping to take the burden off of residents when it comes to clearing snow.

Jeff Wiebe with JWORX was a delegate at the City Council meeting held on September 11th, and he believes there’s a better way to handle snow clearing, but there’s one problem. The city’s noise by-laws are unable to accommodate the machinery needed to clear the snow.

"Many people need to get out to work early in the morning and by restricting machinery to go out there, you're restricting people to use only shovels," explains Wiebe. "That creates a barrier for some people who cannot shovel themselves out of their driveway."

In his letter that he sent to city council; he provides a list of cities that have adopted a similar by-law exception. They include, Winkler, Manitoba, and four cities in Ontario; Stratford, London, St. Mary’s, and New Hamburg, the last of which is similar in size to Portage. Some of the cities listed have certain guidelines that need to be followed, such as Winkler, where certain things remain prohibited from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

"This is a very popular thing, especially down east, where it's very important to get to work on time," says Wiebe. "They have created a very economical, very efficient way of removing snow so that it allows people to get other driveways even when there's a lot of snow that's falling even throughout the night."

Nathan Peto, Portage la Prairie's city manager, says they'll take the information given under consideration.

"Our by-law currently doesn't allow residential snow clearing to occur before 7 a.m.," explains Peto. "These are homes that are next to neighbours and we want to be courteous to people, to make sure they're not being woken up too early."

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, PortageOnline encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the PortageOnline app.