Election signs are a critical part of campaigning for municipal candidates. And having to replace them is frustrating for Central Saanich Council Candidate Niall Paltiel.
“There’s a little bit of funny business going on with the election signs going on around, unfortunately,” Paltiel said.
Sometime on Sept. 24, someone vandalized Paltiel’s signs on the side of Tanner Road, near Highway 1. He had to replace them but is on a tight budget and it hurts financially.
“We’re making small personal donations from taxpayers in our community. Usually, it’s a couple of hundred, one or two hundred bucks,” Paltiel said.
Someone took a paint can to signs along the side of Blanshard Avenue. And within the neighbourhood, with campaign signs scattered on various front lawns, the only ones that are missing belong to incumbent Lisa Helps where her signs are targeted.
“My street in particular. All my neighbours have their signs on their windows, instead of on their front lawns. There are other places in the city as well,” Helps said.
Under B.C.’s new municipal campaign financing rules, donations from corporations and unions are banned and individuals are capped at giving $1,200 per year. So every dollar and sign counts.
“My campaign manager informed me that over 200 of our signs had gone missing. And that’s a lot of money. And it’s a lot of volunteer time. So it’s very discouraging for anyone running,” Helps said.
After he replaced the vandalized signs, the news ones were stolen. Paltiel said it hurts everyone.
“It’s really unfortunate when folks decide to vandalize these signs because it’s your own neighbour’s money that is being put up, right?”