Fredericton — If you thought the road-clearing after the recent winter storm that hit New Brunswick left a little to be desired, you’re not imagining things. The Government of New Brunswick announced today it has instituted a 24-hour minimum wait time after a snowfall before the plows are put on the road.
Billed as a cost-cutting measure put forward as the Gallant government looks for ways to trim services, the province suggests that the thousands of cars on the road anyway will give plow drivers a “head start” by packing down snow.
A statement released by the Department of Transportation earlier today reads, in part:
“Not only will the reduced hours of plow drivers bring down costs for New Brunswick, but by waiting 24 hours after every snowfall, 90 percent of the work will be done by citizens packing the snow down on their daily commutes before the plows even get on the road.”
Transportation Minister Roger Melanson was unavailable for comment, but his spokesperson Marlene Best gave clarification on the government’s position.
“Look, we just figured: what’s the point of plowing the roads right away? It might snow again, and we’re just going to have to do it again. So, in a way, by not plowing for at least 24 hours after a snowfall, we’re doubling our efficiency,” said Best.
“Not only do we expect to see savings in the transportation budget, we have formed a committee to study the possibility of using the inevitable ice-like roads as outdoor hockey rinks, allowing us to close some of the province’s more outdated recreational facilities in rural areas.”
When asked specifically what rural areas the government had in mind, Best replied: “Everywhere that isn’t Fredericton, Saint John or Moncton.”