12/28/2011 07:09 EST | Updated 02/27/2012 05:12 EST

VIDEO | Montreal snowplows scrape over clear sidewalks

A video posted on YouTube shows Montreal snow removal crews getting plenty of practice for an approaching winter storm — by "clearing" dry, clear sidewalks a week in advance.

The two-minute clip, titled Only in Quebec and recorded last Wednesday, lets the sound of the plows' blades scraping along the pavement speak for itself.

The city was hit by freezing rain later in the day. A local television station reported a spokesman for the neighbourhood of Villeray as saying the crews were distributing salt but shouldn't have had their snowplow blades lowered.

As of Wednesday, the clip had recorded more than 247,000 views and more than 500 comments, many of them condemning what was viewed as misuse of taxpayer dollars.

"Is there snow on the sidewalks? No. Mission accomplished," one commenter wrote.