Campaign vandalism hurts democracy, Pincher Creek RCMP say

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Mounties in southwestern Alberta are reminding the public that it’s illegal to steal, move, or vandalize election campaign signs. It’s also fundamentally undemocratic, according to Sgt. Ryan Hodge, detachment commander at Pincher Creek RCMP.

“This kind of thing undermines our basic democracy. To go out and steal campaign signs is extremely undemocratic,” a frustrated Hodge told Shootin’ the Breeze Thursday, May 11.

The detachment logged two complaints Wednesday about campaign signs that were stolen or wrecked in the Pincher Creek area, he said, noting that Lethbridge police had received similar complaints.

Vandals don’t appear to be targeting any one campaign in particular, he added.

Anyone caught vandalizing campaign signs risks a mischief charge under Canada’s Criminal Code, he said.

Campaign signs can be posted along Alberta highways without a permit, provided they meet safety and removal requirements listed on the province’s website.

All signs must be taken down within three days after an election.

Elections Alberta handles complaints about alleged offences under the province’s Election Act, Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act, Local Authorities Election Act and Alberta Senate Election Act.

Complaints can be emailed to, or phoned in to the Elections Alberta hotline at 780-644-1250.

Albertans head to the polls May 29 for the provincial general election.

Laurie Tritschler, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze