Sign vandals plague most elections, but Liberal candidate Marc Dalton and his crew have never seen it this bad.
The past few weeks, he and his campaigners in the Maple Ridge-Mission riding have been kept busy repairing the nightly onslaught that’s seen lawn signs scooped up or knocked down, while larger billboards have been smashed, torn apart or sometimes even have the wooden stakes and posts stolen.
“It’s happening all over,” Dalton said Monday.
“It’s widespread. It’s one thing if it’s the odd one here and there, but it’s just been all over.”
Dalton says about half of the 70 or so larger signs posted on boulevards and road signs have been trashed, while the same percentage of 300 lawn signs have gone missing or have been knocked down.
The vandals strike mainly at night and mainly in Maple Ridge and disproportionately focus on Liberal signs.
“I put them up, the next morning, they would be down. I put them up, the next morning they are down.”
He says his workers also see other party’s signs damaged, and when they do, they alert the party so repairs can be made.
Dalton isn’t blaming the NDP team for the vandalism, but says sympathizers of that party could be behind the damage.
“We have to go back, over and over.”
Damaging or removing election signs is illegal, he points out.
NDP candidate Mike Bocking said trashing of campaign signs happens every election.
“It’s been a little bit lighter than in past campaigns.
Bocking has run for the NDP one provincially and three times federally before.
“We just don’t like to see it.” He’s asking people not to take out their feelings on a candidates’ signs.
Each 1.2-metre by-1.2 metre sign costs about $50.