It’s only a few days into the 2021 Canadian federal election campaign and a local candidate’s signs have already been vandalized.
Conservative Party candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country Tracy Gray found her signs scrawled on with spray-painted expletives endorsing the Green Party of Canada on Thursday morning. Some of the vandalism also attacked Gray’s recent vote against Bill C-6, which would’ve banned conversion therapy.
“These signs were paid for with donations made by everyday Canadians, and put up by hard-working volunteers from across Kelowna-Lake Country,” said Adam Wilson, a member of Gray’s campaign, in an email to local media.
Wilson also mentioned vandalizing and removing signs is a criminal act and said he hopes other candidates won’t have to deal with the same thing over the coming weeks.
Kelowna-Lake Country Green candidate Imre Szeman condemned the act, calling it inappropriate and something that “cannot in any way, shape, or form be condoned.”
”In an election campaign, the open exchange of ideas between candidates is what’s essential. Acts of vandalism like this get in the way of this — they impede discussion and sow distrust,” said Szeman.
Szeman plans to get in touch with Gray regarding the incident as soon as possible.
Similar instances of vandalism occurred during the 2019 federal election campaign in the Central Okanagan. Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr had his signs defaced, as did People’s Party of Canada candidate Allan Duncan in the Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding.
Election day is Sept. 20.