Election season has brought a number of ways for people to show their support. Lawn signs are scattered across the city and the riding, and the RCMP remind everyone it’s illegal to vandalize them.
Reports across the province show a number of election signs have been removed, broken or vandalized in some way. Swastikas and racial slurs have been scrawled over some and others have been found destroyed. Cst. Michael Hagel of the Lloydminster RCMP confirms that election signs are property and actions like these may lead to consequences.
“It’s a crime, it’s mischief under the Criminal Code to tear someone’s election signs down. It’s someone else’s property, you can’t just tear it down because you disagree with someone politically,” says Hagel.
Damaging someone’s property may lead to a mischief charge. There may also be trespassing charges depending on where the sign is. Hagel says the penalties for a crime like this vary depending on their criminal record.
“Ultimately, it would probably be a fine for the most part. If they had a very large criminal record, that would probably increase the penalty.”
Hagel affirms that a full investigation would be completed if anyone reported acts of mischief. Property damage can lead to a charge of mischief under $5,000 and can be prosecuted as either a summary or indictable offence.