The democratic process is under attack from vandals, believes local People's Party of Canada candidate Joshua Leier, after unknown individuals targeted several of his campaign signs.
Many of his signs have been sprayed with black paint in recent days, making his name virtually unreadable.
“There must be a small group of people who are worried that we’re starting to win more votes,” Leier said. “I’d encourage whoever vandalized our signs to use their words before acting out like this. If they have a problem with our party, I’d be happy to debate them on any of the topics we are championing.”
Signs throughout the city, but concentrated around the University of Guelph, have been vandalized. Leier said his campaign volunteers estimate a dozen were spray painted between Tuesday evening and Thursday evening, with about 20 more stolen throughout the campaign.
While most of the vandalized signs were on public property, Leier said a couple of them were on private property.
I feel sorry for our team that has spent hours putting these signs out across town and our supporters who gave us donations to buy these signs. #VotePPC2021 #VoteTrudeauOut #SignOfTheTimes #ElectionsCanada pic.twitter.com/xZ6UL3VJWz— Josh Leier (@JoshLeier) September 17, 2021
“It’s unfortunate that people are doing this to our signs. My team of volunteers has spent hours placing signs across the city,” said Leier. “My supporters have donated their hard-earned money so that we could purchase signs in the first place.
“All of these people are affected by this.”
A review of reported incidents turned up no reports to police, said Const. Kyle Grant, community resource officer for Guelph Police Service. He encouraged anyone who is the victim of vandalism to call police to report it.
Leier is disappointed by what appears to be targeted vandalism, saying he wouldn’t wish it on any candidate, even the Communist Party which he sees as being “furthest” in political stance from the PPC.
“I still believe they deserve a fair shot at the democratic process. No one deserves to have their property vandalized or stolen.”
Election sign vandalism is nothing new. Various party signs have been damaged throughout the city during this year’s campaign, along with many previous election periods.
But in this particular case it appears one particular party is being targeted and the vandalism is not random.