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This week’s mailbox: vaccine effectiveness and snow-clearing

Assessing vaccines’ margin of error

Assessing vaccines’ margin of error

Let’s define “don’t work” as in “masks don’t work” or “vaccines don’t work.”

If “working” means something is effective in 100 per cent of cases, then maybe nothing works — not medicines, not cleaning agents, not cars, tools, or diets.

Not even people. When we go to our jobs, we make time for lunch, coffee breaks, water breaks, bathroom breaks, conversations with colleagues, quick calls to family members, quick social media checks, standing and stretching, and maybe a daydream or two. If we work 80 to 95 per cent of the time, we consider that “really working well.”

Hmmm, that’s the same percentage of effectiveness as masks and vaccines. I guess that means masks and vaccines work really well, too.

Dianne Homan


To Mayor and Council;

I am writing regarding the deplorable state of most of our residential streets a full month after the last “big” snowfall. We have winter five months of the year in the Yukon. Snow clearing is very important to the functioning of the City of Whitehorse. Please realize what you are doing is NOT working. (Except for the priority one roads that have been cleaned to the asphalt. )

Our residential street, like many others in Riverdale, and probably other urban areas of Whitehorse, has not seen the blade of a plough even a single time this winter even though the snowfall in December was almost record setting. It is extremely rough even after being packed by passing vehicles. Even a plough going by once in the middle of the road to smooth the road would be helpful.

Once every five or 10 years it is fun to band together and deal with this excessive snowfall in the neighbourhood and put up with significant barriers to getting around. However as it gets more frequent, it is getting rather stale.

Last week I had to make a home visit to a client who could not travel in for her appointment because the rough roads would aggravate her already significant problems. Another client who did arrive at my office, which is just metres from 4th Ave reported an 12/10 stab of pain to an already painful joint as her car unexpectedly hit the large ridge where 4th Ave had been cleared and inches of packed snow on Lowe St met. I am sure many others with painful conditions have had to limit their travel due to the state of our streets.

Another well-known citizen in a wheelchair has also brought attention to the inadequacies of the street clearing and that he is more confined due to this.

It is also extremely hard on vehicles. Perhaps citizens should be sending repair bills to COW?

I looked very briefly at your strategic plan document from 2020 and under the heading Transportation; I saw no mention of addressing the inadequacies of the current snow clearing protocol.

I think it is very important to address this as you look at the new Official Community plan. In other parts of Canada, after November 1st people are not allowed to park on the street in residential neighbourhoods so that the snow ploughs can run through the streets quickly and clear the roads. I was in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. during a heavy snow storm in a large subdivision and the snow ploughs went by a number of times in a single night as the roads were not impeded by parked cars. This seems to be a much more efficient approach to clearing streets and keeping them safe for pedestrians and drivers. (How was our current and very strange snow-clearing policy developed?)

A significant change in snow clearing policy should have an impact on how neighbourhoods are developed as COW strives for more density even as the Planning Department continues to deny the reality that people have so many vehicles. In the last ten years, many more vehicles are parked on the road in our neighbourhood than previously. If this is not addressed urgently, and developments are designed to assume lots of street parking will be available year round, snow clearing in Whitehorse will not be able to respond to our changing climate and continue to be totally inadequate for our needs.

We have winter five months of the year. Snow clearing is very important to the functioning of the City of Whitehorse. Please realize what you are doing is NOT working. Give your snow clearing strategy the time and serious reconsideration it deserves as part of your climate change action plan and the citizens of Whitehorse might actually notice!


Pamela Holmes