A pile of election signs removed by City of Surrey in the 2018 civic election, due to their placement not confirming to city rules. (File photo/Lauren Collins)

A pile of election signs removed by City of Surrey in the 2018 civic election, due to their placement not confirming to city rules. (File photo/Lauren Collins)

Lower Mainland city bans election signs from public property, highways

Removing more than 1,800 illegally placed signs cost Surrey $160K in the 2018 civic election

One Lower Mainland city is putting a stop to election signs on public land, citing hefty cleanup fees from previous elections.

Surrey council voted unanimously Monday night to ban election signs on public property and highways throughout the city.

According to a staff report to council, 1,831 candidate signs were removed during the 2018 civic election campaign that did not conform to city requirements, which prohibited signs being erected within 25 metres of intersections.

Removing the illegally placed signs cost the city a pretty penny last fall.

“The total fees collected in 2018 for removed election signs was $8,600 which very nominally offsets the City’s cost that amounted to approximately $160,000, $42,300 for Engineering staff and $117,700 for Bylaw Enforcement staff). This amount included labour, equipment, disposal and administration,” the report states.

Surrey isn’t the only community cracking down on election signs.

Quesnel, with a population of 12,000, allows just six double-sided election signs per candidate on public property.

“I think this allows campaigns to concentrate on the things that matter: door-knocking and policy instead of having sign wars with each other and complaining that so-and-so is vandalizing so-and-so’s sign,” Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson told Black Press Media.

VIDEO: Signs of the election cropping up across B.C.

READ MORE: No cash, no election sign policy pondered by B.C. city

READ MORE: Surrey candidates, slates say campaign signs should be banned on public property Oct. 3, 2018

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said he was happy to support the election sign bylaw changes.

“I think during the campaign we indicated that if we did get elected we would bring this sign bylaw into force in Surrey. The criticism that we received during the campaign, or I can say myself anyways, on signs, was horrific. There was many, many complaints,” McCallum said.

“But I think the most important thing we felt very strongly is so many of the signs were a safety concern at our intersections. Certainly as I drove around the community and seeing all the signs at major intersections, a lot of them blocking the view of the cross streets and so forth, it was a real danger,” he added.

Managing election signage in 2018 was a “challenging endeavour” for the city, staff noted in a corporate report to council that outlined the proposed changes.

Staff noted the proliferation of election signage during campaigns is “both distracting to motorists and places a significant burden on City resources, at the expense of the taxpayers, to ensure compliance.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

New COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of the in-person portion of the second annual Festival of Trees event scheduled for Nov. 20 -21 in Terrace. (Pexels)
In-person event cancelled, online auction still a go for Terrace’s Festival of Trees

Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation was planning to host the event at Heritage Park

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

(Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared Thursday.
COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site

14 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time

Bob Wilson uses a garden hose to protect a wood shed as his daughter’s home burns nearby on Oct. 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Natasha Candelora)
Foster family loses Old Remo home to fire

B.C. ministry unhelpful in aftermath of fire, family says

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Most Read