Edmonton Election 2017: Sign infractions steady despite record number of candidates

Campaign signs line the streets in south Edmonton's Ward 10 ahead of the 2017 election.
Campaign signs line the streets in south Edmonton's Ward 10 ahead of the 2017 election. Craig Ryan, Global News

The city is pleased with how the municipal candidates conducted themselves during Edmonton’s election campaign, at least when it comes to sign placement and removal.

A record 131 people ran for mayor, council or school trustee and it appears most of them followed the city’s bylaws for where they were allowed to put up their campaign signs.

“We were happy with the way it went. Obviously with the increase of candidates, we were expecting a bit more of an increase of the work but (it was) status quo for us,” said Grant Blaine, a coordinator in the city’s community standards branch. “It’s busy during any election and it was no different for this one.”

Blaine said bylaw officers received approximately 300 sign-related complaints and seized 2,000 signs. They handed out 70 warnings but did not issue any fines. With such a large field of candidates, many of them needed a friendly reminder on where signs were allowed to be put up.

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“There’s definitely a learning curve and that’s why we take the compliance approach with the educational piece,” Blaine said. “We deal directly with the campaign managers, we deal directly with the candidates, reinforcing the sign regulations that are created for the city and everything that goes along with that.”

The deadline to remove all campaign signs from public property was Thursday night. Blaine was impressed with how well the candidates complied.

“For the most part, all the signs were removed off the major arteries and intersections. There was the odd one still lying around in residential neighbourhoods but (it has been) a pretty high compliance rate we’ve received so far,” he said. “Officers have only had about 27 complaints come in through 311 and about 29 proactive inspections, just removing the remaining ones that are on the boulevards and the roadway.”

The penalty for leaving a sign up beyond the deadline is $250 but Blaine said no fines have been issued.