What are the Penalties for not Shovelling my Sidewalk in Alberta?
It’s Saturday night and you notice the snow-covered sidewalk, but you remember the hockey game is about to begin. What do you do? Thinking of skipping the shovelling and watching the game? You might want to rethink your decision. As a homeowner, you are responsible for making an effort to clear snow and ice on public sidewalks in front of your property. Snow and ice pose a hazard to you and others. Below is a summary of how much time you have to clear the snow and the potential penalties for not shovelling within the regulated time.
Snow and ice removal policies for Alberta cities
- Edmonton – Snow must be cleared 48 hours after a snowfall. 1st Offence: Warning issued and snow must be cleared within 7 days. 2nd Offence: Fine of $100, plus the cost of snow removal. Take Note: After each season, the homeowner’s record is wiped clean.
- Calgary – Snow must be cleared 24 hours after a snowfall. 1st Offence: Warning issues, snow must be cleared within 24 hours. 2nd Offence: Cost of snow removal. Take Note: No monetary fine issued.
- Medicine Hat – Snow must be cleared 24 hours after a snowfall. 1st Offence: Fine of $100, plus the cost of snow removal. 2nd Offence: nothing! Take Note: The history of infractions follows residents for life, no matter where they live in the city.
- Red Deer – Snow must be cleared 48 hours after a snowfall. 1st Offence: Warning issued, snow must be cleared in 24 hours. 2nd Offence: $35 fine, plus the cost of snow removal. Take Note: Warning or ticket issued every time there is an offence for the same address.
- Grand Prarie – Snow must be cleared 24 hours after a snowfall. 1st Offence: Warning issued. 2nd Offence: Cost of snow removal and possible $100 fine. Take Note: The history of infractions follows residents for life, no matter where they live in the city.
Snow shovelling tips
Like any chore that requires physical exertion, snow shovelling comes with the risk of injuries, especially to the lower back and shoulders. Before you do any strenuous shovelling, read these safety tips below to help avoid serious injury.
- Warm up your muscles by walking in place for a few minutes and mimic the movements of shovelling, bending your torso, knees, and moving side to side.
- Choose an ergonomically designed shovel or consider investing in a snowblower
- When lifting snow, be sure to bend your knees and use your legs to take the strain off of your lower back.
- Try to shovel soon after a snowfall when the snow is fluffier and lighter. The longer the snow stays on the ground, the harder it is to move.
- Maintain a comfortable body temperature by layering up and removing layers as your body warms up.
- Take frequent breaks, pace yourself, and stay hydrated.
Shovelling may delay any plans you have and it’s typically not everyone’s favourite chore, but it may prevent paying a penalty, annoying your neighbours, and most importantly, avoid a fall or injury!
For more information on snow and ice removal bi-laws, visit Clearing Sidewalks and Shoveling Snow on the City of Calgary website.
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