March 25, 2015 9:23 pm
Updated: August 6, 2016 3:39 pm

Transit plebiscite ‘no’ side cries foul after campaign signs removed

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WATCH: ‘No’ signs for the Metro Vancouver transit plebiscite seem to be scarce, especially in Surrey. Asa Rehman explains why.

It may be a plebiscite, but Metro Vancouver’s upcoming transit vote has all the markings of an election.

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Allegations of potential voting fraud. Announcements about high-profile endorsements. Robocalls. And now, controversy over campaign signs.

Engineering crews in Surrey have taken down several signs made by the ‘No’ side in the transit plebiscite because they contravened local bylaws.

“The signs were removed not because of the content printed on them,” said city spokesperson Oliver Lum in an email. “If these were ‘Yes’ signs, they would have been removed by the City as well.”

READ MORE: How to vote in Metro Vancouver’s transit plebiscite

The signs were placed on King George Boulevard, but the city’s sign bylaw says “No sign shall be permitted on or within a highway,” except when approved by the General Manager of the Engineering Department.

It’s a decision that has Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation director Jordan Bateman, who is also chief organizer for the No Translink Tax campaign, outraged.

“They’re ignoring the other signs kicking around their communities, the garage sale signs from last August, the realty signs, and they’re pulling up ours and taking them away. It’s a mind-boggling abuse of power,” he said.

Bateman argues that given the “Yes” signs at TransLink stations and on city property, his side should have some “flexibility”.

“It’s complete trash politics by a bunch of mayors who are going to lose this campaign,” he said.

“It’s embarrassing and the mayors should be ashamed of themselves.”

The mail-in plebiscite asks registered Metro Vancouver voters if they want a new 0.5 per cent sales tax to help fund $7.5 billion worth of improvements to regional transit. Voting ends May 29.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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