Some Metro Vancouver commuters are expressing frustration on the heels of an “essential travel” warning from the BC government related to snow and winter weather.
Last week, a day after Tuesday night’s snow chaos, the BC Ministry of Transportation cautioned commuters to only travel if it was absolutely necessary since more snow was in te forecast.
The ministry wanted to limit traffic to “essential travel only” on all major BC highways connecting Metro Vancouver to other parts of the province. The notice for drivers also included a snowfall warning, yet Environment Canada didn’t issue any weather warnings of that nature.
In the end, it barely snowed and anyone who chose to adhere to that essential travel warning did so needlessly.
Vancouver’s most recent snow event began as most other snow events in the region do — with a mix of laughter and frustration. The laughter came in the form of jokes about how Vancouver essentially shuts down for one cm of snow (though it snowed a fair bit more on Tuesday night).
The frustration was directed towards the BC government and certain municipalities, which didn’t seem to prepare for the snowy disaster that faced them adequately. Unifor Local 111, the union representing bus drivers, was one of the groups that blamed municipalities for the transit woes.
BC’s ministry of transportation seemed to point the fingers at commuters, claiming that people who left work early created congestion during times the province wasn’t ready for.
Reaction to the “essential travel” warning
DriveBC, an arm of the ministry, likely put out the essential travel warning in hopes of preventing another catastrophe on the roads if significant snowfall occurred. Thankfully, major snowfall didn’t happen, which made the decision look premature or miscalculated.
We heard from commuters who did end up changing their plans because of the travel warning from BC. Others shared their thoughts on social media.
Essential [email protected] for metro Vancouver??? Gee I wonder why Canada laughs at Vancouver in winter. 10 cm of snow falls and the world ends.
— Mike Douglas (@dou34426633) December 2, 2022
My new to Vancouver Edmonton friends are just chuckling at vancouverites right now “essential travel only” “snow storm” I mean they get it that Vancouver is unaccustomed to such weather it’s just still shorts weather for them.
— RaincouverMillenial (@RaincouverM) November 29, 2022
Some called the response from the government a colossal failure.
What a collosal failure by our govt. A few cm of snow and we are advised to stay off roads. What a clown show. Imagine the rest of BC or Canada operated like this. They wouldn’t drive for 4-5 months of the year.
— Francois (@FunkyFrancois) December 1, 2022
One person suggested that the essential travel warning should’ve gone out on Monday, ahead of Tuesday’s snowmergency. Others echoed that sentiment.
Probably should have done this Monday.
— Mike Benter (@mvbenter) December 2, 2022
Or maybe municipalities should ban all non essential travel during a major snow event, as they do elsewhere in Canada – so snowplows can get their work done. There was NO NEED for F2F university classes yesterday, to name just one example. We all learned how to do online…
— Christina B (@ChristinaBehme4) November 30, 2022
Light snow and freezing drizzle are expected for parts of Metro Vancouver tomorrow, but the BC government hasn’t issued any essential travel warnings yet.
Did you adjust your habits due to the essential travel warning from BC? Let us know in the comments.