Parties tussle over northwest BC political signs

SKEENA POLITICAL campaigns not only disagree on policy, but also on election signs judging from comments being made.

NDP campaign manager Gord Lechner is saying he had thought the parties had worked out an arrangement not to use small lawn-type signs, typically a plastic bag shape stretched over a wire frame, on Hwy37 between Terrace and Kitimat.

"Within municipal limits, that's different," he said.

"But on highways, no. They can get blown around and end up in ditches. It just doesn't look right and that's something we don't want," he said.

BC Liberal campaign manager Val Gauvin said her signs had already been put up by the time Lechner contacted her.

"I told him as time permits we would remove them," said Gauvin of conversations with Lechner made last week.

But with the election date of May 14 fast approaching, Gauvin said her campaign volunteers are working on other aspects of the campaign.

"We really don't have any intention of taking them down now that we are so close [to voting day]," she said.

"We're not worried about ours. They aren't those plastic bag ones which can blow around," Gauvin added of the corrugated plastic material being used by BC Liberals.

She did say the signs will be removed promptly after May 14.

The agreement Lechner tried to broker doesn't extend to the large signs anchored in the ground with 2 X 4s or other lumber.

Nor does it extend to lawn-style signs on Hwy16 within the riding.

BC Conservative candidate Mike Brousseau has been putting up a number of the larger signs and reports that some have been damaged.

"One had been punched through right where my face is," he said of one incident. "That's vandalism and you can go to jail for that."

Brousseau has replaced that particular sign and has borrowed a camera equipped with a motion detector.

He's placed that camera in a tree near the new sign and placed an additional notice on that sign.

"It goes 'click, click, click' whenever there's movement. And the notice warns people that if you destroy [the sign] you're in trouble," said Brousseau.

And keen-eyed election observers might have wondered why signs along the millennium trail have all disappeared on occasion only to reappear later on.

They were removed so that City of Terrace crews could cut the grassy verge between the walkway and the highway.

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