Campaign sign vandalism and theft plagues Calgary Confederation riding

Federal candidates in Calgary Confederation say they're losing dozens of small and large campaign signs to theft and vandalism.

Some signs scooped within hours of being placed

Matt Grant's Liberal campaign signs in the riding of Calgary Confederation, as well as NDP and Conservative signs, are being destroyed and stolen. (Kate Adach/CBC)

Campaign staff say they're seeing more sign vandalism and theft in the northwest riding of Calgary Confederation than in previous election campaigns.

"We had a supporter come in who said that he had probably three lawn signs stolen off his lawn and he was getting sick of it, so asked us to put a big one up thinking no one would be able to walk away with something on a wooden frame, and within about 48 hours they'd hacked it to pieces," said Brendan Wade, campaign manager for Liberal candidate Matt Grant.

"So we put up a new one the next day, and within 48 hours of that, the next one was hacked to pieces again."

The Liberals have lost hundreds of small signs and dozens of large ones, and they're not alone.

NDP Campaign worker Kat Heaney says it's upsetting to see signs stolen or destroyed from private property. (Kate Adach/CBC)

The New Democrats and Conservatives are also noticing more sign problems in this campaign in the riding north of the Bow River. 

"Signs being kicked over, signs being taken down, perhaps signs being cut in half so that they're no longer usable, and of course theft from people's lawns, which gets me the most," said Kat Heaney, a spokesperson for New Democrat candidate Kirk Heuser.

The parties say it's hard to know why it's happening.

But it's also upsetting for supporters "when someone destroys something that maybe they put up themselves," Heaney said.

"It means a lot when voters are willing to put out that statement, they're willing to say that 'I support this candidate and it means a lot to me,' and to have someone go on to someone's private property and have that taken away, it's you know, frustrating to see," Heaney said.

The Conservatives say they're also losing signs to vandalism and theft. (Kate Adach/CBC)

The Liberals say they'll be reporting the theft and vandalism to police.

"I mean this is just a pain," Wade said.

"It's something every campaign has to deal with, it's something I've dealt with on every campaign. But the amount that we're doing it on this one is ridiculous, and its distracting us from what we actually want to be doing, which is talking to voters."

Also running in Calgary Confederation is Natalie Odd for the Green Party and Kevan Hunter for the Marxist-Leninists.


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