New London election signage bylaw leads to confusion

New rules for election signs in London, Ontario has led to confusion of what’s allowed, which can affect tactics on the ground. City of London logo

New rules for election signs in London, Ontario has led to confusion of what’s allowed, which can affect tactics on the ground.
According to a news report from CBC news, London city hall passed a new sign bylaw earlier this year requiring election signs from the same candidate to be at least 100 m (328 ft) apart to prevent too many signs at major city intersections.

Campaign managers with the province’s three biggest political parties agree the new bylaw is a good thing, but there is still some uncertainty.

“There’s a little bit of confusion about what the rules are,” said Zach Armstrong, the campaign director for Kate Graham, the Liberal candidate for London North Centre.  

Armstrong said Graham’s campaign is following all the rules, however interpreting them is a matter of some debate. Especially since many candidates have placed signs on all four corners of major intersections, which are not always 100 m apart.

While some insiders consider political signs an unsophisticated way to campaign, Nathan Caranci, the campaign manager for Progressive Conservative candidate Paul Polatto, who is running in the riding of London West, considers them a traditional staple of the election season.

“It’s part of the ritual,” he said. “I’m a proponent of them and I think they work.”

City hall said enforcing the new bylaw will be means for education, but if a candidate disregards the rules by crowding street corners and blocking sight lines for drivers, the signs will be removed immediately.

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