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

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

SD54 and SD91 figuring out a back to school plan

B.C. government hopes to get students back to in-person classes

Granisle receives $4.3 million funding for Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade

The village will finally get to upgrade the 49 years old plant

Provincial grant boosted District projects

The 2019 annual report released

RDBN suspends carboard ban at Knockholt landfill

Reuse-shed in RDBN continues to remain closed

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

Most Read