After heavy snowfall, people with mobility issues often left frustrated and isolated
MONTREAL -- Montrealers woke up to a solid layer of snow on the ground opening children's eyes wide at the chance do some sledding, while those requiring mobility assistance feel once again that they are left out to struggle in a tough environment.
Steven Laperriere is the general manager at RAPLIQ (Regroupement des activistes pour linclusion au Quebec), an organization that supports people with disabilities.
He said people with disabilities are often frustrated at the state of sidewalks and roads after weather events and the length it takes crews to clear snow and ice.
“They’re stuck home. If the sidewalks are not cleared fast enough you cannot go out," said Laperriere. "If there are small amounts of snow or small patches of ice on the sidewalk, if you use a wheelchair or even worse if you use a walker you’re in danger. You never know what can happen. So it’s not easy.”
He added that paratransit services are generally cancelled for at least a couple of days after big storms
“You’re in a reoccurring confinemen,” he said.
A snowfall warning is in place for much of south-eastern and central Quebec.
Environment Canada says up to 15 centimetres of snow is expected to fall in the affected area, potentially complicating travel in the region.
The warning is in effect for the Quebec City area, the Eastern Townships, Drummondville - Bois-Franc, Beauce, Mauricie, Montmagny - L'Islet and the Richelieu Valley - Saint-Hyacinthe.
A snowfall warning that had been issued for Montreal and its surrounding suburbs shortly before 5 a.m. was lifted about six hours later.
Snow has been falling in the Montreal area for around 12 hours, with the forecast calling for between 10 and 15 centimetres overall.
A provincewide warning issued by Quebec's transport ministry on Dec. 30 advising against non-essential travel due to weather conditions remains in effect.
-- with files from The Canadian Press