Hundreds of Conservative campaign signs vandalized
In the minds of right-wing angry voters, west-end Liberals have hired a “bunch of punks” to go around and destroy the election campaign signs of their Tory opponents.
A barrage of weekend damage was done to nearly 350 Conservative lawn signs — targeting candidates Randall Denley and Lisa MacLeod.
Tom Nally’s sign was one of those — torn down in the middle of the night and discovered by his son Dave, who reported it.
“Who’s doing this?” Tom asks, still angry, days later. “Is it Bob Chiarelli and the Liberals? Maybe he hired a bunch of punks to do this. If it was just punks, they wouldn’t target just one sign. I think someone hired a bunch of punks.”
Bob Chiarelli’s campaign obviously doesn’t think so. In fact, spokeswoman Beckie Codd-Downie said about 50 of their signs were also damaged.
“We did notice an increase in damage on Friday night,” she said.
“Signs from all four parties were destroyed. Frankly, our campaign is focused on our positive message and communication directly with voters rather than engaging in any disruptive muckraking.”
Conservative campaign worker Guy Annable said the culprit seems to have followed a specific route — starting at Richmond Rd., up Woodroofe Ave. to Meadowlands Dr., then to Merivale Rd. and down Maitland Ave. as well as other major intersections in Ottawa West-Nepean.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in a campaign before,” said Denley. “It’s deeply disturbing. It makes me wonder who’s really behind this.”
Incumbent Conservative Lisa MacLeod said about 60 of her signs were targeted in Nepean-Carleton.
“It’s very difficult to understand why someone would do this, given those signs are put up by volunteers,” said MacLeod. “They work really hard, so that level of disrespect is maddening.”
In Ottawa West-Nepean alone, both sides of 120 large signs and 140 small lawn signs were cut, likely with a knife or box-cutter.
“We spent the whole weekend cleaning up the mess so the signs would not blow around,” said Annable. “All signs were replaced and in some cases, signs were added in some locations to send a clear message to the vandals that our resolve is strong.”
MacLeod said the efforts of the “thugs” will have the opposite effect of what was likely intended.
“We’re going to put more signs up. That’s what we’re going to do, and we’re going to win this thing,” she said.
Police have been notified of the damage and said the charge in a case like this is mischief.