Election in Ottawa: municipal candidates denounce political interference
In the buildup to the final week of the Ottawa mayoral race, some council candidates say they’ve had trouble with campaign materials defaced, deleted or even stolen.
In a now-viral video, taken in late September, Barrhaven-West candidate Taayo Simmonds accused fellow candidate David Hill of removing his campaign materials from a residential mailbox and replacing them with those of Hill.
Hill later apologized for his actions, calling them “misjudgment”.
Following this video, other candidates talk about their own experiences.
Knoxdale-Merivale ward candidate Michael Wood posted a video to Twitter on Friday that appears to show a man removing a lawn sign supporting Wood from a property.
“It’s heartbreaking for me to know the people who have supported me, the money that has been spent and to see the signs torn down,” Wood said.
In Kanata South, Erin Coffin says she has had campaign signs taken from certain streets on several occasions, and even had signs stolen from her volunteers.
“We had a volunteer, my dad, pull signs out of his car while he was putting up signs for us,” Coffin said.
Municipal experts say it’s part of a trend of growing political division that is seeping into politics and now prevalent at the municipal level.
“We will see if there is a bit of a reset with the new term of the council because over the last year and even three to four years there have been deep divisions that have really grown since the last election. “said Jon Willing, a city councilor. said the business commentator.
In September, Ottawa police said they received 14 reports of mischief or theft of election signs.
Interfering with or damaging election signs is an offense under the Criminal Code and charges may include mischief to property.