Snow plow drivers quit their jobs after violent residents confront them in Mississauga
Published March 10, 2023 at 3:17 pm
Several Mississauga snow plow drivers have quit their jobs after being harassed by angry, violent residents who smashed their vehicles and prevented them from clearing some streets after last weekend’s winter storm.
The series of violent incidents, which City of Mississauga senior staff describe as unacceptable, irresponsible and showing a “blatant lack of respect for our operators,” has prompted City officials to enlist the help of Peel Regional Police tonight (March 10) and tomorrow to ensure similar violent incidents don’t happen again in the wake of the latest snow storm.
Some 10 centimetres of snow, or more, is expected throughout the day today and tonight, meaning snow plow drivers will be out in force again across Mississauga trying to clear the roads.
Ward 10 Councillor Sue McFadden told her residents via her newsletter that she received an email from senior City staff alerting her to the violence and related issues last weekend, which took place in her ward and other areas of the city.
She said the email noted that “…City staff and contractors have been facing harassment and aggressive behaviour from some residents while they are engaged in the important work of making our roads safe and passable for everyone.”
While you may not know the person operating the plow, tractor or truck – they are part of our community. They are someone’s family, friend & loved one and they should be able to work safely – free from harassment & abuse. (3/5)
— City of Mississauga (@citymississauga) March 10, 2023
McFadden said that, “by calling this behaviour out as unacceptable and reprehensible, I am hopeful it will stop and that respect, kindness and cooler heads will prevail.”
The councillor urged patience this weekend as the latest winter blast is expected to fill the roads with snow yet again.
“Driveway windrows are again expected, although not as large as last week, and the snow looks like it will be wet and heavy. Take care and be safe,” she said.
The pointed email from senior City of Mississauga staff began by noting that last weekend “on multiple occasions, our plows were confronted by aggressive residents in the street who blocked them from performing their plowing operations. This behaviour escalated further at times to harassment and violence as residents damaged the lights and mirrors on our plow trucks while our operators were plowing the road.”
The email continued, saying, “Our team received a formal letter from one of our contractors that stated, as a result of the aggressive behaviour experienced during the last winter event, several staff resigned their position as they did not feel safe doing their job.
— Sue McFadden (@Sue_Ward10) March 10, 2023
“I know you share our Winter Operations team’s frustration with this blatant lack of respect for our operators. This is completely irresponsible by residents as operators are only performing the duties outlined in our contract, trying to make it easier for residents to get around. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Mississauga officials went on to note that such behaviour is taking place in other areas as well, including Brampton and Caledon.
Beyond Peel’s borders, officials added, arrests were made last weekend in Oshawa and Milton for similar behaviour.
Staff concluded by saying that they’ve reached out to Peel police and “will be working with them to ensure that our operators are safe should incidents arise during the current event. This will include calling 911 for assistance.”
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