News Views: Anti-signs

The City of Pitt Meadows is taking down anti-HST signs on public property.

Organizers of the campaign to recall Liberal MLA Marc Dalton over the HST placed 100 signs around the city last week, only to see them disappear. Municipal crews took credit for uprooting 38 of them, following a complaint to enforce a bylaw that prevents election or political signs from being placed along boulevards, medians, roadsides, on bridges or in parks.

The signs, which read “Vote YES: Extinguish the HST,” were funded by $225,000 given to FightHST by the provincial government, to provide balance leading up to the referendum, this month and next, on whether or not to repeal the blended tax.

The signs were also placed in Maple Ridge, where they are exempt from a sign bylaw because they are for political purposes.

Corisa Bell, who led the campaign earlier this year to recall Dalton because of his support of the HST, put up the signs. She suspects the complaint to remove them came from someone who also supports the HST, a Liberal.

There is no shortage of Liberal support on Pitt Meadows council.

Pitt Meadows Couns. Doug Bing, Gwen O’Connell, Deb Walters and Tracy Miyashita wrote messages on Facebook in support of Dalton, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, during the recall campaign. O’Connell even worked on his campaign to defeat the recall initiative. Mayor Don MacLean wrote a letter during the recall campaign, praising Dalton.

Coun. John Becker, along with his wife, Terry, helped with the campaign to elect Christy Clark as the B.C. Liberal Party leader.

Pitt Meadows is the only municipality known to be removing anti-HST signs.

The city had indicated earlier this year that it might review its sign bylaw after the November municipal election.

MacLean, who will not seek re-election, in particular detests signs, claiming they are a form of “pollution.” Yet he has used some during past elections.

Regardless of what he thinks, political signs are part of the democratic process; they create awareness, encourage involvement and, above all, are temporary.

They are not removed from public property during federal and provincial elections. Doing so now just seems self-serving.

–  Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News