Metro Vancouver Fared Poorly After Last Year’s Snowstorms

Illegal behaviours—such as not shoveling a sidewalk or driving in an improperly cleared vehicle—are reported by half of residents.

Vancouver, BC [February 8, 2023] – Most residents of Metro Vancouver are disappointed with the way last year’s snowstorms were managed by their municipal administrations, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative Metro Vancouver sample, just over three-in-five respondents (61%) think their municipality was “unprepared” for the snowstorms that affected the region in November and December.

More than half of Metro Vancouverites voice dissatisfaction with two specific issues: snow clearing on sidewalks (58%) and snow clearing on roads (57%). Fewer residents are upset about the timeliness of alerts from their municipality (30%) or the responsiveness to requests on social media (31%).

The snowstorms impacted the way certain services operated in November and December. Majorities of Metro Vancouver residents say they experienced an interruption in recycling pickup (63%), non-organic or “garbage” pickup (also 63%), and organic or “green” waste pickup (66%).

About two-in-five residents of the City of Vancouver say three sanitation services were disrupted more than once in the last two months of 2022: garbage pickup (40%), green pickup (42%) and recycling pickup (43%). In Surrey and other municipalities, fewer than a quarter of residents experienced repeated interruptions.

The snowstorms also affected the behaviour of residents. Three-in-ten Metro Vancouverites (30%) say themselves or someone in their household worked from home on account of the snowstorms, and almost half (49%) chose not to drive their own vehicle.

At least half of Metro Vancouverites report witnessing two illegal behaviours in November and December: 54% saw neighbours who did not shovel snow on their sidewalk and 50% saw a vehicle with snow on the top circulating in their municipality.

“Practically three-in-five residents of the City of Surrey (59%) remember a neighbour choosing not to take care of snow on the sidewalk,” says Mario Canseco. President of Research Co. “The proportions are lower in the City of Vancouver (54%) and in the remaining Metro Vancouver municipalities (49%).”

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted on January 14 to January 16, 2023, among 700 adults in Metro Vancouver. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Metro Vancouver. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.7 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]