FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Election time can bring out very strong emotions and opinions and while people may feel the urge to steal or deface election signs, candidates and the RCMP are warning the public that you can face charges.
In the Peace River North riding, BC NDP candidate Rob Dempsey’s team says that they have noticed signs disappearing on a regular basis.
The team says at first, they only noticed a couple of the signs had been taken but now they are noticing that they are gone all over town.
Other candidates in the Peace River North riding also have noticed election signs going missing.
While someone may think it’s okay to steal signs or deface them, the RCMP are reminding the public that it is a criminal offence if caught. Sgt. Dave Tyreman with the Fort St. John RCMP says that if reported, they will investigate.
“Theft of any item(s) needs to be reported to the police so we can investigate, as such, theft of property. Defacing of campaign signs is damage to property, to wit; Section 430 CC Mischief, and if reported to us will be investigated fully.”
Andrew Wastson with Elections BC also said in a statement that if they receive any information regarding stolen signs, they will refer them to the RCMP.
The issue is also happening in Dawson Creek. Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier took to social media on Wednesday to remind people to use their voice and vote if they wish to be heard.
Bernier noted that while sometimes it can be hard to catch those who are damaging or stealing signs, it is still a punishable offence.
Advance Voting is now taking place from May 3 to 6 before General Voting Day on May 9.