Sign vandalism in LKM happening ‘to a greater degree’ during this federal election

Damaged NDP and Liberal campaign signs at the corner of Egremont Drive and Nairn Road in Middelsex Centre. September 2021. (Photo courtesy of David McLean).

Volunteers working on the campaigns of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex candidates are frustrated about signs being removed, defaced, and damaged.

In a joint media release issued by Green Party, Liberal Party, and NDP candidates, it stated that signs have been vandalized across the riding. It’s suspected that persons or groups stole or vandalized signs in an effort to disrupt the democratic process.

David McLean, media contact for LKM’s NDP candidate, said reports of missing signs started being reported a couple of weeks ago and he was later approached by other parties.

“What I found most disturbing of all was the signs of one of the candidates, their face is on the sign, and it had been spray-painted with black spray paint right across the person’s face,” he said. “I’m not going to insinuate that it’s this party or that party behind it because as far as I’m concerned, it’s a non-partisan issue here.”

McLean said he reached out to the Conservative and PPC campaigns as well. He was told about damaged Conservative signs and missing PPC signs.

Damaged signs in Arva. September 2021. (Photo courtesy of David McLean).

The removal or vandalism of campaign signs is not new but McLean said in his roughly 15 years of campaign experience, he has never seen it to this degree.

“It’s happening to a greater degree in more places than I’ve ever seen it before,” he said.

McLean said a great deal of work goes into putting up signs and costs are covered by donations made to each campaign. Residents who notice the tampering of signs are encouraged to report it to their local police service as it is a criminal offence.

“All of these signs out there can seem like an eyesore and a pain to a lot of people but it is part of the process, part of the way we communicate,” said McLean. “During the pandemic, it has been very hard for the parties to do the door-to-door campaigns or to hold rallies or anything like that so the signs, we look to them as a way of getting our brand out there and getting our candidates name out there.”

The 2021 Federal Election is on September 20.

Candidates in the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex riding include incumbent Lianne Rood of the Conservative Party, Liberal Party candidate Sudit Ranade, NDP candidate Jason Henry, Green Party candidate Jeremy Hull, and PPC candidate Kevin Mitchell.

Joint Media Release issued by the Green Party, Liberal Party and NDP Candidates. September 2021.

Joint Media Release issued by the Green Party, Liberal Party and NDP Candidates. September 2021.