Two weeks into the 2019 territorial election campaign, there are clear signs that something is different.
For the first time in at least seven years, there are no media reports – to date – of any Yellowknife election signs being vandalized.
The lack of reported graffiti is a pleasant change from campaigns marred by vandalism in both 2015 and 2018.
In each of those years, news outlets reported more than once on vandals attacking candidates’ signs – which can cost hundreds of dollars and take hours of time to print and erect across the city.
If the remainder of this campaign passes without the defacing of any signs, records suggest it’ll be Yellowknife’s first spotless election since 2012.
While Cabin Radio could find no archived reports of election sign vandalism from 2012’s municipal election, damage was reported by at least one of the city’s territorial candidates in both 2011 and 2007.
In 2015, then-city council candidate Rebecca Alty’s signs were vandalized, as were those of fellow candidate Marie-Soleil Lacoursiere.
Three years later, a range of municipal candidates’ signs were vandalized. Chris Gillander, who narrowly missed out on a city council seat, famously dealt with vandalism to some of his signs by turning the graffiti into artwork depicting him as a wizard.
Cabin Radio first noticed 2019 might bring something different when billboards featuring morning show host Jesse Wheeler’s face somehow survived several summer months undamaged.
If you have evidence that a candidate’s sign has indeed been vandalized so far in this election campaign… maybe keep it to yourself and allow us to dream for just a little while longer that Yellowknife has become a more civilized place.
We also apologize in advance to all the candidates for tempting fate by writing this.