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Baie D’urfe to remove all signage at Fritz farm, enforcing ‘no sign’ policy

Click to play video: 'Baie D’Urfe taking down field of signs' Baie D’Urfe taking down field of signs
It started off as a tribute to front-line workers, a way to encourage people during the COVID-19 pandemic and soon morphed into a place to express social and political views. – Jul 6, 2020

The city of Baie D’urfe will begin enforcing their sign bylaw requiring a growing collection of signs at Fritz farm to be removed.

For more than 100 days, the Baie D’urfe field of signs with the phrase “Ca Va Bien Aller” and others supporting front-line workers have lifted the spirits of the people in the town. Signs with supporting the Black Lives Matter movement were also placed at the same location after a sit-in to denounce racism on Saturday.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Baie-d’Urfé residents create field of rainbows to thank front-line workers

However, as of July 10, all signs are coming down.

Mayor Maria Tutino told Global News that the town has allowed the field of signs to stay up, but said some people have pushed their limits.

“We have signs of people advertising their businesses, which they shouldn’t be — we don’t allow that. We have them on telephone poles, we have them in parks… we have them everywhere,” Tutino said.

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Tutino said a municipal bylaw outlines who can put up signs, “and it says with regards to signage, except for those erected by the town for traffic safety and other public purposes, portable signage or those of other types are prohibited in the entire town.”

Click to play video: 'West Island community takes a knee' West Island community takes a knee
West Island community takes a knee – Jun 14, 2020

Although the bylaw states that signs are not allowed, some people believe that these signs supporting front-line workers and the Black Lives Matters movement should be allowed to remain.

Samara O’Gorman passes by these signs every day when she is going downtown, riding her bike along the path. She believes the signs should stay.

“I think it’s nice to have a visual representation of not only the Black Lives Matter movement going on right now but the global pandemic that’s still in effect,” said O’Gorman, a former Baie D’Urfe resident.

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O’Gorman’s mom is a front-line worker, working night shifts at the Lakeshore hospital. She said her mom uses the route every day and loves seeing the signs.

Read more: Police officers in Montreal, Terrebonne pay tribute to hospital workers

“Even more so than me, I feel like this is a great reminder of her great work and everything that she puts towards fighting every single night in the hospital,” O’Gorman said.

“I do not think the signs are obstructing any park activities… they are close to the path, they are not in the grand field at all. They’re not hurting anyone. They are just a reminder to be kind to one another,” she says.

Read more: Hometown Hero: Supporting front line workers

Kendell Winchester told Global News he comes to the area to free his mind and enjoy the water. He enjoys passing by the signs and would like to see them stay.

“I do not see how it could affect anybody if they want to chill by the signs. It’s not an obstacle that you have to move around. I do not see it as a problem,” said Winchester.

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“It made me feel great, it made me feel like we matter in all communities, not just in Black communities. We matter in white communities and this is what needs to happen for human rights and justice to be served.”

He added the signs are a good reminder that there’s still work to do in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although they lifted some measures, there’s still precautions we need to take,” he said.

READ MORE: Montreal’s West Island communities rally against racism, police brutality

“In this strange and difficult time we are experiencing with COVID-19 and racism issues, the signs that are up at Fritz farm bring awareness and recognition, showcasing the support that the Baie D’urfe community has for our health-care workers and for people of color in the community,” Lisa Jones- Marcoux, a Baie D’Urfe resident, wrote to Global News.

“I would be very sad to see the signs taken down because of a bylaw. … Rules are made to have exceptions. Silence is Complicity,” she said.

The mayor says residents are being asked to pick up their signs at Fritz farm by July 10. After that, the signs will be put in public storage for pickup until July 17. The town does not want to destroy or throw away any of the work its residents have done.

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