Vancouverites have been in a mad rush to get salt as the city experiences a rare extended period of snow and icy weather. At one fire hall, there was a miniature riot as a pile of free salt was snapped up by area residents in only five minutes.
Thus B.C. has joined Canada’s annual bacchanalia of salt. Literal mountains of the stuff are being dumped onto roads this winter, corroding cars, destroying shoes, withering crops and eating away at the very foundations of our towns and cities.
Salting allows us to drive 110 km/h on the highway in the depths of winter, but it may well be the most destructive peacetime government program in Canada. Below, a summary of the price we pay for cheap de-icing.