September 13, 2017 7:47 am

Proposed changes to London’s election sign bylaw delayed

The corporate services committee voted 3-0 Tuesday night, in favour of sending the proposed changes to London's election sign bylaw back to staff.

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Changes to London’s election sign bylaw are on hold after a report was sent back to staff Tuesday at city hall.

Councillors at the corporate services committee debated when candidates for municipal office can put up their signs.

The committee voted 3-0 in favour of sending the proposal back to staff.

The proposed bylaw would have kept candidates from posting campaign signs until the end of the nomination period in late July, as opposed to the start of the nomination period in May.

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READ MORE: City hall eyes changes to London’s election sign bylaw

Ward 7 councillor Josh Morgan argued in favour of allowing Londoners to put signs on private property after a candidate files their nomination papers.

“It is reasonable to restrict the amount of time we’re going to have sign pollution along our streets, but if I or someone else files as a candidate and someone wants to put something up on their private property to support me, I think that should be allowed the day that person files,” said Morgan. “I think there’s no reason why people shouldn’t be able to put up signs supporting a candidate on their own property after that candidate has filed a nomination. I see a difference in this case, and some merits in, restricting them along the roadways.”

Ward 5 councillor Maureen Cassidy argued May was too early.

“In my personal experience in the last campaign, I didn’t put my signs up until Labour Day weekend. I know that with the province now holding the set election dates, we will always follow a provincial election, and there is a lot of election fatigue out there,” said Cassidy.

Both a provincial and municipal election are slated for next year. If signs are allowed to go up at the beginning of the municipal nomination period, Londoners could be seeing campaign signs in the city from May until October.

READ MORE: Ontario allowing municipalities to use ranked ballots in 2018 elections

Staff also recommended campaign signs be seven metres removed from intersections, election signs of the same candidate be at least 10 metres apart and restricting election signs from being placed outside the ward where a candidate is running for office.

The only signs that would be allowed outside of a candidate`s ward would be signs placed within 50 metres of an adjacent ward.

The issue will be discussed at city council next week.

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