As It Happens

Yukon woman handcuffed by camo-clad Conservative candidate after defacing signs

Carrie Boles says Ryan Leef and another man came out of the trees to confront her about defacing signs and placed her under citizen's arrest, before calling the RCMP.
(Ryan Leef campaign website / CBC )

It seems Yukon Conservative candidate Ryan Leef takes the sanctity of his election campaign signs very seriously. Whitehorse resident Carrie Boles says one night last week, a camouflage-clad Leef confronted her as she cut up his signs with a knife and handcuffed her.

Boles tells As It Happens guest host Helen Mann, "There's a rumble in the bush, so I'm thinking, 'Oh my goodness it's a bear...and two men popped out of the bush.'"

It took her a while to recognize just who had placed her under citizen's arrest: Conservative candidate Ryan Leef.

"I said, 'Mr. Leef is that you?'...and he's like 'Yeah.'"

Boles says she didn't know that defacing election signs is illegal, and didn't have a clear motive for cutting up the signs. She explained to CBC Yukon that she was simply, "Having one of those days."

Carrie Boles admits to defacing Ryan Leef election signs on two separate occasions before she was placed under citizen's arrest. (CBC)

"I saw all these signs on the road and I thought you know what, 'They're gaudy, they look awful and I've just had enough." She admits she's not a Conservative supporter.

Boles says Leef called the RCMP -- who let her off with a warning.

We reached out to Ryan Leef to ask him about the incident, but his campaign did not respond.

However, Leef did speak to CBC Yukon.

He confirmed that he handcuffed Boles, but he said he was not hiding in the forest waiting to catch the vandal. Leef says he happened to be in the area replacing signs that had been damaged earlier when he came across Boles cutting up his signs -- and that his citizen's arrest was lawful. 

Leef says he often wears camouflage. Also, he does not normally carry handcuffs but was prepared on this occasion, believing that the culprit would return.

He agrees it is an "odd" story but says the underlying issue of law enforcement and protection of property is something that all Canadians care about. 

Boles has promised to stop defacing Leef's signs.