Get off our lawn. (If we had lawns.)
The City of Yellowknife has come up with new rules to keep election candidates in check when it comes to littering the municipality with signs.
A municipal election is coming up in the fall. Ahead of time, the City – perhaps recalling 2015, when four elections took place within a month and more than 40 people were running for some form of office in Yellowknife alone – has taken steps to outline exactly where candidates should be shoving their signs.
"In an effort to ensure public safety and protect the City’s landscaping and irrigation infrastructure, the City of Yellowknife has enacted Election Sign By-law No. 4968," read a City news release, referencing the snappily entitled legislation.
"General restrictions within the by-law state that signs cannot interfere with the safe operation of vehicular traffic, the safety of pedestrians, and the City’s maintenance operations. The by-law further provides candidates and their volunteers with guidelines pertaining to the size and placement of election signs on City property."
The rules apply to all candidates in federal, territorial, municipal, and school board elections.
Mayor Mark Heyck said the by-law would "hold candidates accountable for their removal, rather than the City bearing those costs."
The by-law contains only four pages of legislation but 18 supporting pages of graphics illustrating what is and is not acceptable. In addition to the cost of developing the signs and the other fees associated with running a campaign, candidates now face financial penalties for disobeying sign-related rules.
Fines include $75 per day if your sign is in a state of disrepair; at least $250 per day for putting it somewhere you shouldn't; and $500 per day if you insist on installing a sign that flashes or has animation (if you're going that far, then you can probably afford the fine... and will probably not get elected).
Lastly, the City advised candidates they can still place election signs on private property – as long as they have the owner's permission.