Residents, retailers, struggle to find salt in Ottawa
Christina Succi, CTV Ottawa
Published Wednesday, February 27, 2019 10:12PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 28, 2019 11:01AM EST
Some homeowners and retailers in Ottawa say they are struggling to find salt following an unprecedented winter.
One Ottawa resident says he called at least half a dozen places before finding salt at Preston Hardware.
"I've been looking for the last couple of days; our driveway is basically a skating rink."
Johnny Giannetti, the director procurement at Preston Hardware says this year has been a unique one for the shop.
"Everybody's asking, when is it coming?" said Giannetti.
"We've had to re-order multiple times this year."
GIannetti says the shop will try to forecast how much salt they'll need for the winter, but with all the extreme weather, this year was far from typical.
"We start off with large quantity at the beginning and once it dwindles down normally at this time of year, we slow down," said Giannetti.
"But we haven't slowed down this year, we just keep calling and asking for more."
Our of the 7 stores CTV called Wednesday, three had salt: Preston Hardware on Preston, Rona on Merivale, and Canadian Tire on Hunt Club. Four told CTV they were sold out: Home Depot on Baseline, Lowes on Hunt Club, Costco on Merivale, and Walmart on Baseline.
Some retailers say their hands are tied, attributing the shortage to the summer strike at Ontario's Goderich Salt Mine, but owner Compass Minerals says the strike had little impact on their productivity.
"The frequency of winter weather events, combined with the ability of trucks to travel safely during the winter weather, has mean that replenishment of our customers' shelves is challenging in the short-term," Compass Minerals said in a statement to CTV News.
"Our inventory levels are typical for this time of year and we continue to ship packaged salt from production and warehouse sites daily."
The City of Ottawa says they have a solid agreement with their vendor Windsor Salt and are not experiencing a shortage, adding that based on the last 5-year average, the city uses about 185, 000 metric tonnes per year.
Waterloo Region and Toronto are also reporting a shortage in salt.