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Damaging election signs can result in fines, probation and jail time: Timmins Police

With three weeks to go in the federal election campaign, candidates’ signs are falling victim to willful damage in Timmins.

The Steve Black Liberal campaign confirms some damage.  It has given up on posting signs at the intersection of Cameron St. and Dalton Rd., after having replaced signs several times.

Timmins Police communications coordinator Marc Depatie says mischief to the signs is a criminal act that can result in fines, probation and jail time.

“Additionally,” he says, “the Canada Elections Act also prohibits people from interfering with the transmission of election advertising messages without proper authority.”

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Depatie adds that in most cases, the signs are on private property, and that could result in trespassing charges.  He calls it a chronic set of circumstances every election.

“We would much rather people just allow for the democratic process to take place,” Depatie notes. “You may not agree with other political parties, but actions that are deemed to be criminal will be dealt with harshly by the Timmins Police Service.”

In other words, register your displeasure at the ballot box.

Excerpt of an email statement from the Steve Black Liberal campaign

” Dalton and Cameron is the biggest problem area.  Signs damaged multiple times. ..    We have abandoned the area.  A couple other isolated incidents but nothing else as significant as that. Also some issues of smaller signs being removed or relocated but again nothing significant enough to distract from the campaign.  We just replace and move on. 

We have not reported it.  We are focused on winning the election and dedicating our time and resources to that.  It’s unfortunate someone feels destroying property and breaking the law is part of the democratic process but it is not an issue we wish to focus on or divert attention away from the main goal of bringing needed change to Timmins-James Bay.
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