Just out of the shadow of a federal election, and with a municipal election looming and a fall provincial election likely on the horizon, Coun. Andy Adams is concerned election signs will mar the city’s beauty.
Adams noted that days after last week’s election came to a close, signs with candidates’ names splashed across them could still be seen scattered across the city. Signs in certain locations, such as among the daffodils surrounding the Welcome to Campbell River sign and strategically placed along the water, are taking away from the city’s natural beauty, said Adams.
“When I read in a local paper the column No, Really: Election signs are like flowers, but without the beauty, I couldn’t agree more,” Adams told council at last week’s Tuesday meeting. “I’d like to look into some sort of bylaw to protect our waterfront from being littered with signs as it was in the last municipal election, which was an embarrassment to our community.”
Adams asked city staff to look into the possibility of restricting election signs in certain areas of public property and report back to council.
The Supreme Court of Canada determined in 1993 that a city cannot ban election signs from all public property as it would infringe on freedom of expression. Adams said he is aware of the legislation but hopes the city can work within the ruling to set some of its own parametres.
“I don’t want to take up a lot of staff time with this,” said Adams. “I just want to see if anything of this nature would be possible. It would be nice to have a little bit better environment than what we’ve become accustomed to in past elections.”
Election signs put up by property owners on their own lawn, in support of candidates, would not be affected.