Snow removal in Canada is far from being a mere winter chore. It’s a constant battle against the elements, a significant challenge that weighs heavily on the shoulders of those who have made it their profession. Jean-Luc Sigouin, associate president of Sig-Nature, a recognized snow removal company, raises the alarm about the future of this essential yet underrated profession.
“The cities are growing, the demands are increasing, but we have less and less labor,” he explains in an interview on Noovo Info. This shortage of personnel in snow removal is alarming, especially considering that it is not a “desired or desirable” profession. Indeed, the harshness of the work and often precarious conditions make the job less attractive to new generations.
This reality was fully experienced by Emmanuel Monette, a former snow remover. After running his snow removal business for 12 years, Monette had to quit, exhausted by the stress and constant pressure. “I was tied up 24/7 from November 15 to April 15,” he shares, highlighting the unpredictable and demanding nature of this work. Long waiting hours, client pressure, and lack of recognition led to his professional burnout and depression.
Despite these challenges, the profession is undergoing a transformation. Annie Roy, General Director of the Association des déneigeurs commerciaux et résidentiels, notes a “turning point” in the industry over the past three years. The pandemic has prompted many to rethink their quality of life and work hours. In this context, snow removal, with its unpredictable schedules and high demands, seems particularly challenging.
The situation is made even more critical as weather conditions continue to dictate the work pace. Jean-Luc Sigouin sums up this reality well: “We have to be ready, no matter the situation.”
Faced with these challenges, it becomes urgent to rethink the snow removal industry in Canada. It’s about valuing the profession, improving working conditions, and finding innovative solutions to attract and retain workers. Canadian society must recognize the vital importance of these professionals who, despite the cold and fatigue, ensure our safety and comfort during the harsh winter months.