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Third-party elections signs removed in Summerland

Question about message led to bylaw officer’s decision to take down signs
Roy Roope set out third-party election signs around the community on Sept. 25. (Contributed)

On Sept. 25, around an hour after Roy Roope had set up some third-party election signs in Summerland, the signs were taken down.

“My signs were on a third party issue and I am registered with Local Elections Financing Act and have complete, documentation, registration with Elections BC, my signs had the information of my name, email, and Local Elections Financing Act registration,” he said. “I have the full legal right to display these signs and removal was illegal.”

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One of the signs read, “Elect a pro-taxpayer council.” Another stated, “Vote this tax and spend council out.”

Both signs also included Roope’s name and the community where he lives.

Roope was later contacted by Dan Maja, a Summerland bylaw enforcement officer, about the removal of the signs. On the Monday morning, he was told he could claim his signs at Summerland’s municipal hall.

Maja said under the elections act, third-party election signs may have policy-related messaged, but not personal opinions.

He said he wanted clarification about whether the message in Roope’s signs was allowed under the elections act.

“I just want to make sure all the campaign rules are being followed,” he said.

In addition, there are regulations affecting the placement of election signs. In early 2022, Summerland council passed a bylaw prohibiting election signs along Main Street and along the portion of Victoria Road between Wharton Street and Jubilee Street.

However, Roope said the incident was a case of sign interference.

“They are denying my rights,” he said.

Roope later contacted the RCMP and the signs have now been returned to him. They can be seen at the intersection of Highway 97 and Rosedale Avenue in Summerland.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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