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Newmarket councillors urge kindness for workers amidst snowstorm

'I want to take a moment to thank any and all essential workers who did make it in today, on such a horrific snow day,' councillor says
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Newmarket councillors are asking the public to be kind to staff working to address today's snowstorm.

The province was hit with a massive snowstorm Jan. 17, with 24 centimetres measured in Newmarket by noon alone. Schools and vaccination clinics were closed, and councillors commented about efforts to clear roads during a virtual meeting. 

Newmarket Mayor John Taylor said residents should contact the town for any issues that need to be addressed but added social media can be hurtful.

"Seeing a social media pile-on when you’ve been out there in really, really difficult circumstances, can be somewhat disheartening,” Taylor said. “Some of them are pretty on edge themselves and trying to hang in there.” 

Members of the public reported poor conditions on area roads, with social media posts urging residents to stay home if possible. However, many were neutral or positive about clearing efforts.

“The roads are bad! Stay home!” one Newmarket Facebook post said. “There was basically only one lane to drive everywhere! The road crews cannot keep up to this storm!”

Environment Canada has said the Greater Toronto Area could see between 40 and 60 centimetres of snow. 

Councillors showed appreciation for essential workers journeying into work despite the poor conditions.

“I want to take a moment to thank any and all essential workers who did make it in today, on such a horrific snow day,” Councillor Kelly Broome said. “Especially all of our own staff that are out clearing snow.”

Councillor Victor Woodhouse said staff is doing a good job, and he has not heard complaints due to lack of staff. He said we can be quick to alert when something goes wrong but do not necessarily recognize when things are working well 

“When the water arrives at our house, and the toilet flushes and the snow is plowed, we don’t think anything much of it,” he said. “We need to just reach out and say, 'thank you for the work you continue to do because it’s very important to us, and it makes our lives so much easier.'”