Criminal behavior on the eve of the 2019 federal election has blighted the final hours of the campaign of Liberal candidate Kody Blois.
Members of Blois’ campaign team discovered seven vandalized signs in Kings County.
“On the final day of the election, someone – or someone with others – obviously decided to take out their anger on Kody Blois’ signs,” said Dale Palmeter, campaign manager for the Kings-Hants candidate. “We all know it wasn’t the result of the weather.”
Palmeter described the damage to the signs as extensive and deliberate. In many cases, signs were cut apart with knives. Some of the targeted signs were spray painted.
Palmeter said the discovery of vandalism to Kody Blois signs has been specific to Kings County. There are no reported vandalized signs in East Hants or West Hants.
Palmeter stressed that in the 30 years he has been involved in politics, he has never seen signs so violently defaced.
“I’ve seen, on occasion, signs knocked over or stolen,” Palmeter said. “Some Scott Brison signs were spray painted with derogatory terms in the past, but I’ve never seen signs that were cut and destroyed, which takes considerable effort and forethought.”
With lumber and materials factored in, Palmeter said the cost of the damage done will certainly add up.
“I know that election campaigns are always emotional for some people,” Palmeter said. “The best way of expressing your view is to go to the ballot box, not to attack property.”
Palmeter reported the matter to the RCMP. The recent incidents have prompted Palmeter to consider upping security, and possibly investing in surveillance measures in future campaigns, for areas where signs are posted.
“You can easily install cameras around some of these sign locations and that’s something I want to look at,” Palmeter said. “It’s vandalism to personal property and it’s against the law. The people who did it should think about that.
“I wouldn’t want anyone following me, if I were campaigning, to do that, and I hope that other campaigners would urge their supporters to show the same respect.”