August 1, 2023

Gaining momentum in the snow insurance crisis



The snow and ice management industry is facing an insurance and liability crisis — and it’s essential we act now. The availability, scope and price of insurance is unstable and many contractors are being driven out of the industry. Without meaningful change from the Ontario government, the problem will only fester and get worse.

There is a very real danger that the declining number of snow and ice contractors will result in a lack of service for many municipalities and organizations next winter, unless there is legislated reform. And while the Ontario government passed the Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act (Bill 118) in 2020 in an attempt to alleviate the effects of frivolous slip and fall claims, this legislation is not enough on its own to solve the numerous problems our industry is facing.

Ultimately, we believe that winter safety should be a shared responsibility for all involved, including contractors, property owners, property managers, the public, municipalities and other levels of government. However, snow and ice contractors are currently shouldering the bulk of liability risk — and that means many are going out of business due to skyrocketing liability insurance rates, on top of other rising costs such as fuel, materials, labour and auto insurance.

Landscape Ontario’s Snow and Ice Management Sector Group has retained the public and government relations firm Daisy Group to help achieve our critical objectives for legislative change. These include the establishment of technical standards and a regulatory body with the overall goal of creating a fair and effective system, ensuring all have access to snow removal services.

With that in mind, I am excited to share news of the great progress we have been making over the past few months.

Most notably, we had a very successful meeting with Premier Ford’s Chief of Staff, who is interested in both our concerns and the solutions we bring to the table. Our meetings with the ministries of Transportation and Environment have also been very positive. I feel that the Ontario Government recognizes the importance of our industry and the services we provide — and are willing to work with us to find a solution that will be fair to all.

We will keep the momentum going with upcoming meetings with several other ministries including the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. We will also continue having additional conversations with the Premier’s office.

To help further our advocacy and better connect with decision-makers, the Sector Group will also be hosting a Lobby Day at Queen’s Park sponsored by the Honourable Parm Gill, Milton MPP and Minister of Red Tape Reduction on October 24. This event is an incredible opportunity to showcase our industry, the issues we are facing, and meet with Ministers, MPPs and other stakeholders.

If you are interested in meeting with your local MPP, either at Queen’s Park or at a local office, please let us know. We can assist with setting up the meetings and provide a briefing note for these important issues.

I feel very encouraged by the progress we have been making. There is still a long road ahead, but we can achieve our goals if we continue to work together.

Your input is important, so please reach out to the Landscape Ontario Snow and Ice Management Sector Group (you can email to share your experience with liability, rising cost of business or positive stories from customers — it all helps! In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates and ways you can contribute to this critical effort which benefits all snow and ice management contractors throughout the province.

Support, through a financial contribution, is also urgently needed to support our efforts. If you are able to contribute, you can send it via e-transfer to to support this ongoing effort. Please include the word “snow” in the message. We thank you in advance for your support for this important cause. Thank You!. LT

Jon Agg

Jon Agg is a member of the Landscape Ontario Snow and Ice Sector Group