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Canada Day lawn signs draw ire of excluded London residents

A Canada Day lawn sign adorns a boulevard in the London-West riding.

A London man is criticizing local Liberal MP’s after he was unable to get Canada Day lawn signs for his neighbours in the London-Fanshawe district.

“The idea of a select few getting these signs, doesn’t seem to be what Canada is about,” Bob Reid told AM980’s The Craig Needles Show.

He spotted the patriotic decorations in Byron and called around in the hopes of finding some for his own block.

It seemed he was on the right track when he contacted Kate Young’s office.

“The individual I spoke to said, ‘you can only have two’ and I said, ‘oh well that’s fine,’ and I said, ‘where is your office… I’m not familiar with your end of town, I live in the east end,’ … ‘Oh sir we can’t give you a sign, you’re not in Kate Young’s riding,'” he recalled.

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“It kind of annoyed me, that we’re kind of discriminated against… living on the wrong side of the street, so-to-speak.”

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The signs have been popping up in Young’s riding of London West, as well as Liberal MP Peter Fragiskato’s riding, London North Centre.

But they’re noticeably absent in London-Fanshawe, represented by NDP MP Irene Mathyssen.

“I find it a non-inclusive kind of thing,” said Mathyssen.

“In order to provide each of my constituents with a sign, it would have cost my budget $240,000. There’s no way. There would be nothing left to pay staff, to run my office, to pay the rent, the heat, the hydro.”

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At between two and three dollars a pop, Mathyssen also described the signs as self-serving. But Young feels otherwise.

“They are the Canadian flag, we have to put our name on the sign for budget purposes. My name is very small. In fact, people say … we didn’t know who was supplying the signs, we had to stop and look at the name,”

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Young said it’s up to each MP to decide how they’ll use their operating budget and she’s not excluding other politicians from getting signs for their own ridings.

“We have tried as best we can to make sure that the people receiving them are in London West.”

Young says she’s ordered her third batch of signs. Once they’re handed out, she expects to have delivered more than 3,000.

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