Patti MacAhonic has several NDP signs already up on Yale Road near Alexander Avenue.

Chilliwack to keep tight rein on campaign signs

Campaign signs are forbidden until the writ is dropped. One local candidate is already in violation of city bylaws.

As election candidates are calling on supporters to come pick up their lawn campaign signs, the City of Chilliwack’s bylaw department reminds residents that campaign posters are prohibited until after the writ is dropped. One election candidate has already violated the rule.

With the election tentatively scheduled for May 14, 2013, the writ should be dropped by April 16. An election must be called 28 days before voting day.

Prior to this date, publicly displayed campaign signs violate city bylaws. This includes the new signs at the office of New Democratic candidate Patti Macahonic at 45840 Yale Road, which display the candidate’s name, the official NDP logo, and the slogan, “Change for the better.”

The city’s bylaw department confirms that the signs appear to contravene bylaws because the ones on the lawn are election signs, and the ones on the building require a development permit.

The city has contacted Macahonic’s office to resolve the matter.

After the writ is dropped, during the election period signs cannot be placed or distributed within 100 metres of city hall or a voting location. Signs cannot be attached to trees, utility poles, lamps, or traffic lights and other traffic signs. And, they cannot obstruct driver visibility if placed on or near highways.

Currently, election candidates wishing to post campaign signs must apply for an election sign permit, and submit a $500 deposit to the city. The city returns the deposit once all signs come down after the election.

City council will consider a new bylaw on Tuesday that proposes to raise the deposit to $1,000, and regulate signage according to the type of property.

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