Friday, September 26, 2008

Haldimand "Federal Election 2008 County lays down the Law on Election Sign Placement"

County lays down the law on election sign placement
Letter outlining rules is on the way
Posted 2 hours ago

All six candidates for the Haldimand-Norfolk riding will receive a letter notifying them that Haldimand County does not want signs stuck up on its property or in road allowances.

After making this announcement, planning and economic general manager Craig Manley said he did not know if the county had the resources to deal with this.

As far as Coun. Craig Grice was concerned, candidates should use integrity in putting up their signs and should only put them up where there is a name behind it. In the case of municipal property, the county does not and cannot support a particular candidate, he stated.

In voicing frustration about election signs, Coun. Don Ricker mentioned acts of taunting the public by where signs were put up. He did not name any candidates or locations.

On Sept. 19, Gary McHale nailed a sign into the OPP detachment front yard but when he turned around an officer removed it. The independent candidate challenged the officer and told him it was illegal to touch election signs.

McHale filed a complaint, an investigation was initiated and a promise was made that his sign would not be touched.

According to a 1997 Elections Canada press release, the Canada Elections Act states that removal or mutilation of a sign is an offence. Candidates who want to put signs on private property should obtain consent of the owner.

In the case of public property, the candidates were urged to contact the municipality to ensure sign placement complied with requirements. The same process should occur for signs on provincial or federal Crown land.

Based on a 1993 Supreme Court decision, signs on public property are protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The City of Peterborough's prohibition of signs on public property was declared unconstitutional by the court.


  1. Thank goodness, some sense is coming into election signs protocol. I, for one, cannot stand all the visual garbage the line our streets (town property - not private) whenever a municipal, provincial or federal election rolls around. It is just as bad as people putting advertisements on every available pole.
    I'm all for people supporting their candidate of choice as long as it is on their property and not on every available area of greenspace.

  2. Okay, I posted my comment, and when I finished work, all the way up the street on public property were more signs.
    Again, it makes are streets and roads look littered, no different then driving in Hamilton Mountain and you are assaulted with all these sale signs from businesses.
    I truly hope this by-law gets passed and is retro-active.

  3. Thanks for your comments.

    I totally agree with you.

    When I ran in the municipal election in Haldimand, I was fully aware of the signing bylaws, which Haldimand County does already have. In fact it is the "responsibility" of each candidate to know the rules in each municipality.

    I was the only candidate that stuck to the rules in the municipal election. All my signs were on private property. I did not have to litter my signs on corners and poles. The way I looked at it was that a pole does not vote and that candidate was desperate to get a sign up.

    When I worked on Toby Barretts campaign, Haldimand County had the same rules. Now that we are in a Federal Election the rules again are the same.

    The problem is that it takes alot of time for county workers to be taking down signs when they have enough work to do. They should not have to do this!

    I just look at the credibility of the candidates that are not following the rules, and ask myself would I want them representing me? If they cannot follow one simple bylaw, how credible would they be in office?

  4. Donna, I usually don't see eye to eye with you but I agree with your point about the credibility of the offenders.

    As an example, for someone to use a serious Federal Election in order to taunt the OPP is juvenile and childish at best.

    We need better people than that.

    Rules and protocol are there to be followed for the good of all.

    Mean-spirited hijinks by so-called candidates serve no one.

  5. I totally agree with both of you, I give more credibility to those that can follow the rules of our County. Especially if you are talking about representing our county.

    Also, I am in 100% agreement with the childish behaviour of the canidate in question putting one in front of the OPP station.

    These actions/behaviours definitely leave a bad taste in my mouth that's for sure.

  6. ********Correction************ I would like to make a correction to my comment above.

    I stated that "I was the only candidate that stuck to the rules in the municipal election". I should have said "I was the only candidate in Ward 2 that stuck to the rules in the municipal election".

    Thanks to the person who called me up on my comment!

    September 30, 2008 5:10 AM

  7. Driving around Haldimand it looks like Hoskins and McHale are in a race to see who can put more signs on the side of the road where no one lives. Are they that desperate? Everywhere you see a Hoskins sign is a McHale sign. The Greens, Elgersma and Finley signs are all on private property. I have not seen an NDP sign yet.

  8. On Thursday, October 2, 2008, I went to the All Candidates Debate in Dunnville. I would like to take a minute to give my impressions of the candidates.

    The Conservative Party candidate, Diane Finley, was not in attendance. I think this sums up exactly what she stands for. The comment was made by the Christian Heritage Party candidate that he was sure she had a good reason; however, she did not deem us important enough to give that reason to.

    The Christian Heritage Party candidate, Steve Elgersma, seems to be a good man with strong convictions, but he is a little to extreme to earn my vote.

    The Green Part has a very progressive platform. Although the party leader, Ms. May, did an excellent job in the Leaders Debate, our local candidate, Stephana Johnston, was not prepared for our local debate and although sincere, I fear is not ready to represent us in Ottawa.

    The Liberal Party candidate, Dr. Eric Hoskins, is a great representative of his party and was by far the best politician at the debate. However, outside the Liberal Party Platform, he presented no ideas of his own. And like a good politician, he flip-flopped on many issues. For example, he said that he wants to see more development in Haldimand and he stands for saving farm land. Forgive me if I am being dense, but I don’t understand how you can have it both ways.

    Dr. Hoskins did make a very valid point about independent Gary McHale. If you support Mr. McHale’s efforts in Caledonia, don’t send him away to Ottawa with your vote. Keep him here, working for his cause, drawing attention to Caledonia’s concerns in a way that no politician, independent or otherwise, can.

    These conclusions leave, for me, only one option and one candidate – NDP candidate Ian Nichols. He was very well prepared for the debate. He understands his party’s platform, but is not blinded by it to the point that he forgets about his local constituents’ concerns.

    Unlike what Dr. Hoskins said in his closing statements (a very unprofessional comment, I might add), a vote for the NDP is not a vote for Finley. A vote for Ian Nichols is a vote for the people. For a Party Leader with the people at heart.

    We aren’t happy with Finley. We are not impressed with the Liberals. But we are NOT America. We are NOT a two party system. Don’t throw your vote away by voting for someone you don’t believe in to stop someone you don’t believe in from getting elected. There is an alternative, and the majority WANTS an alternative. I know who I am voting for.