November 3, 2023
Snowposium returns — with updates on the liability crisis
Landscape Ontario’s Snowposium provided another opportunity for the snow and ice community to share knowledge on important issues in the sector.

Hosted by the Snow and Ice Sector Group in September, the conference and expo gave snow and ice professionals, suppliers and manufacturers an inside look at exciting new products. 34 exhibitors showcased new snow and ice products and opportunities, from salt trucks to insurance solutions.

John Biggar of Partners Snow Ice Solutions said he loves attending Snowposium every year. “I believe the more [LO] supports the contractors, the better we can be,” he said.

Warren Kinsella of Daisy Consulting Group, the lobbying firm LO partners with on government relations work, provided an update on the liability crisis facing snow and ice professionals — who are shouldering the bulk of liability risk and facing skyrocketing insurance rates as a result.

The sector group is advocating for improved working conditions for snow and ice contractors across the province. It is lobbying the Ontario government for legislative reforms that will lead to more affordable and accessible insurance and safer sites, as well as mitigate the loss of contractors willing to provide snow and ice services due to the liability burdens.

Kinsella said Landscape Ontario and Daisy Group have gotten the Province’s attention. In the lead up to a formal lobby day at Queen’s Park, the group had a successful meeting with Chief of Staff Patrick Sackville, among others, and have additional meetings set up with the Ministries of Environment and Transportation.

“[Insurance] is a big problem in our industry right now,” said Snowposium attendee Helen Pantis. “It’s really interesting to hear how far along we’ve come, because we’ve been fighting this for a very long time, and it takes all the members in this industry to get us there, and we’ve all done it.”

Snow and ice professionals also discussed Temporary Foreign Workers, handling claims and best practices for the next generation.

Gerald Boot, Snow and Ice Sector Group chair, shared some key takeaways from these discussions. Boot said things are changing in the sector besides insurance, such as contractors beginning to do pre-season inspections. He said this best practice should identify hazards before the winter hits because “weather monitoring is a failed system.”

Boot also highlighted new technologies like dash cams and equipment for taking ground temperatures. Liquid de-icer is also something more contractors should take advantage of to reduce salt use, Boot said, adding that it’s important for contractors to be aware of what is going on in the sector and the resources available to them, especially training.

The Sector Group has developed a curriculum for training contractors which can be found online at