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

The third photograph of Robert Johnson

An old photograph comes to light — a reminder that mythology is real and the past is still alive

East Kootenay snow packs still moderately high

EK snow packs at 114 per cent of normal

City launches guide to help simplify development processes

A new guide that provides information and background on development applications and… Continue reading

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Car stolen from Cranbrook airport

Cranbrook RCMP are investigating a report of a stolen vehicle. The 2020… Continue reading

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read