Sign-smashers have been at work in Central Saanich, destroying a number of candidate’s signs the first week of October.
In Facebook posts, new candidate Joshua Steeper had his signs smashed on Oct. 2. He was checking his sign when Central Saanich Police arrived to ensure the roadways were clear. Steeper said he did not call the police, but it was just a coincidence that they were on the scene at the same time.
“Petty vandalism is an unavoidable consequence of putting our signs out. I’m grateful for all the people who let me know mine was down. It will be replaced!”
In follow-up comments, Steeper said signs from many candidates were also being pushed over, including the Tanner Ridge turnoff. According to him, sign faces cost $70, and the lumber is $15, so at least the sign face could be re-used. In a follow-up interview, Steeper said defacing just comes with the territory, and he said while there was damage, it has not been overwhelming.
This follows prior reports of Niall Paltiel’s signs being spray-painted. Paltiel, who is running for re-election, said there have been a few major areas in Central Saanich where some candidates have had signs pushed over.
“The first go around it was spray paint, now I think it’s just big kids pushing them over,” said Paltiel. He said he has not asked Central Saanich Police to do extra patrolling because it was not a good use of tax dollars. He said it is frustrating for candidates like himself, but it appeared that no candidate in particular is being target for vandalism. He said he hopes people defacing election signs “decide to find something better to do with their time.”
Paltiel and fellow candidate for council Tayler Ruygrok have fixed other people’s signs as well as their own. Paltiel said it was in the spirit of working constructively with each other on council if they get elected.