New polls show a rise in winter weather anxieties
By Jillian McMullen, Staff Writer
Statistics Canada recently published new research showing that 89 per cent of Vancouverites are fearful of cold weather, up from last year’s figure of 55 per cent.
The federal statistical office was tasked with determining how the country was confronting climate change as a whole. The survey results showed an increase of concern for erratic storms across all provinces, with most participants listing a fear of violent hurricanes. However, researchers noticed a particular concern that was unique to the Metro Vancouver area: A fear of snow.
The Other Press got in contact with Mike Fibonacci, one of the main statisticians working on the survey, to ask him why Vancouver’s numbers stood out. He explained that most residents were unsure what to do when confronted with cold weather.
“[In the survey] many Vancouver residents listed a fear that frozen precipitate threatens their West Coast lifestyle, and forces the cancellation of weekend hiking trips, along with halting their Sunday brunches.”
When asked what might explain the sharp rise, Fibonacci stated that last year’s particularly irregular winter precipitated many of these anxieties.
“Yes, it seems as though, unlike literally everywhere else in the country, Vancouverites don’t seem to understand why snow would fall in the region at all. 2016 was a rough year for many, and the heavy snowfall was just another slap in the face for many residences,” he said. “Most who live in Vancouver have been exclusively told that ‘It just rains here,’ and the phrase had become a sort of tongue-in-cheek joke among the residents. This joke seems to have hoodwinked many of those residents into believing it only rains here.”
Michelle Tougee, Kitsalano resident, felt her expectations have been misled by the city’s image. “I just don’t get it. Like, yeah, Canada’s cold, but this is Vancouver. Snow shouldn’t happen here.”
The city of Vancouver has organized an open panel to address these concerns about the upcoming winter season. There, residents can meet with municipal officials to discuss what to do about the “winter problem,” and work together to develop ways with the city to halt the season’s approach.
The meeting will convene at 8 p.m. at Vancouver City Hall on Thursday, November 23.