LETTER: Snowy sidewalks should be shovelled swiftly

We have now had at least two weeks of inclement weather – more than enough time for residents to remove snow from the sidewalks.

This is an open letter to Mission Mayor Randy Hawes:

I would like to bring to your attention the lack of bylaw enforcement in Mission.

We have now had at least two weeks of inclement weather – more than enough time for residents to remove snow from the sidewalks in front of their properties, including residential, commercial and places of worship.

I live on Fairbanks Street and regularly walk my licensed dog.  I also see many elderly citizens attempt to walk this area.  The frequency that I see people walking has decreased probably due to the dangerous conditions the sidewalks are left in.

Some have made valiant efforts, some have made a little effort, while others have completely ignored our city’s bylaws.

I am willing to bet that sidewalks in front of the members of city council are cleared right away either by the members themselves or our city crews.

We have bylaw officers and they are paid to enforce bylaws.  The bylaws that are created to ensure safety have to be enforced.  This ensures everyone’s safety but also reduces the city’s liability.

This is my second experience with how poorly bylaws are enforced in Mission in as little as three weeks.

Recently, I was issued a final warning for having an unlicensed dog.  For the record, my dog has always been licensed.  The final warning was for a dog that I do not own nor have ever owned, living at another address, not my own. So the bylaw officer had the wrong dog, wrong address, wrong breed, wrong name.

This might be why the sidewalks in Mission are in the current state. In this case, the enforcement staff avoided my phone calls to have them rectify the matter.  As a fellow civil servant, we do not enjoy the luxury of conducting our duties without  public accountability – something that needs to be reminded to city staff.

I would ask that the mayor and his council take steps to ensure that citizens can use sidewalks safely by having effective (and competent) bylaw enforcement. If your bylaw officers need an example of how a sidewalk should look like, please feel free to drive past my house. This example is available everyday after a snowfall.

Raj Khoyratty



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