Occasionally, I like to hitch my gasbag commentary to a Montreal Gazette vehicle, particularly in the realm of give the people what they want.
One such newsy temptation is the recent column entitled It’s car-shelter season and the tempo of the debate has picked up; Albert Kramberger, West Island Gazette; Nov. 13, 2019.
So when confronted with the decision of “eyesore or a necessity” allow me to slide off to the curb and beg a question: If it’s 30 degrees below zero in a blizzard outside, and the only tuque you have is one of the Maple Leafs (I am thinking eyesore here) do you still put it on (a necessity) to go out?
And when a well weathered journalist like Kramberger has done his homework and noted, “An online poll in which around two-thirds of the 1,200 West Island respondents indicated it was time to ease up on car-shelter bans in the West Island” there is reason to repeat, “Duh.”
I lived a bunch of Dr. Zhivago (look it up) winters in Pointe-Claire Village where temporary frosty carports are banned (but it costs you money to put up a Welcome flag.) As pointed out, the shelters are banned in most West Island towns, so here’s the 1-2 deal:
- Residents without a garage (in towns where snow shelters are legal) are not thrilled with having to put together (I know, I’ve done a few) these wind-catching monstrosities but some winter snows are a real bitch to clear. (Some people with garages may still be puzzled at this, and focus only on the unsightly attack on their Dick and Jane pulling Spot in a red wagon little suburban streets.)
- Again, garage-less people do not want to put up some ugly, flappy shelter that takes away from their frontage, either, but it’s . . . uh . . . winter!
How about considering seniors? (Duh.) How about considering less municipal government nosiness with respect to a basic winter necessity? They should be legal everywhere. How about each town hold a vote? Give the people what they want. (No brainer.)
Guess what, winter is not convenient nor pretty on the worst days, so city halls of Baie-D’Urfé, Beaconsfield, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Kirkland, Pointe-Claire and Senneville . . . lighten up.
Kudos to Dorval, Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue for permitting them with — naturally — size and duration restrictions. These towns do honour their taxpayers.
If I had my way, I would have no rules for the colours permitted. God forbid we should have a few polka dot shelters and maybe a full size face logo of the Montreal Canadians. Crayola colours work in Lunnenburg, Nova Scotia. Why not even go overboard with unrestricted shades. After all, Christmas lights do that. (Makes me think, is there restrictions to what I can paint on the side of my car?)
And the smart town halls see legal car shelters as extra budget income through permit fees.
All something to think about while you are seriously considering buying snow shoes.