Snowstorm Made British Columbians Drive Less, Work From Home

Three in ten residents say their municipality is “getting better” when it comes to dealing with snow.

Vancouver, BC [February 19, 2019] – The snowstorm that affected most of British Columbia last month had an effect on the daily lives of residents, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, two-in-five British Columbians (39%) say they chose not to drive their own vehicle on account of the snowstorm.

“A majority of residents of the Fraser Valley (51%) avoided getting behind the wheel with snow on the roads,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Vancouver Island was a close second on this question at 49%.”

In addition, three-in-ten British Columbians (31%) acknowledge that they, or somebody in their household, worked from home on account of the snowstorm.

Practically half of British Columbians report having witnessed two negative behaviours, with 49% saying that they saw neighbours who did not shovel snow on their sidewalk and 48% witnessing a vehicle with snow on the top circulating in their municipality.

Across the province, two thirds of British Columbians (68%) say they are satisfied with how their municipality dealt with the timeliness of alerts, such as school closures, and 61% feel the same way about snow clearing on roads.

The satisfaction rating is lower for snow clearing on sidewalks (54%) and responsiveness to requests on social media (51%, with 30% undecided).

Three-in-ten British Columbians (29%) say that, compared to five years ago, their municipality is “getting better” when it comes to dealing with snow. Half of the province’s residents (49%) see no change, and 16% believe the situation has “worsened” over the past five years.

British Columbians aged 18-to-34 are significantly more likely to believe that their municipality is now better equipped to deal with snow (40%) than their older counterparts (22% among those aged 35-to-54 and those aged 55 and over).

A majority of residents of Northern BC (57%) believe their municipality is handling snow better than it did in 2015. The numbers are lower in all other regions of the province, including Vancouver Island (30%), Metro Vancouver (29%), Southern BC (20%) and the Fraser Valley (18%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from January 21 to January 24, 2020, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.