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Friday, September 12, 2014

Finally! A response on those illegal Working Families signs

Earlier this week I posted what was supposed to be my last note on the illegal Working Families signs that sprung up across Ottawa just days before the Ontario election.


Then, miraculously, I got a response from the Chief of Bylaw & Regulatory Services, Linda Anderson (Linda.Anderson@ottawa.ca):

In response to complaints regarding election signs during the 2014 Provincial election, By-law Enforcement Officers removed and impounded approximately 500 signs which is the most cost effective and expedient way to deal with such signs.  
 A large number of the signs that were removed were linked to candidates from all registered parties although nearing the end of the campaign, a large number were posted that were not associated with specific candidates. Follow up charges for the placement of these later signs is problematic because evidence is required that must specifically identify the individual person who places the sign illegally . The City has no legal ability to charge the organization that the sign may be supporting.  

Linda Anderson

Chief, By-law & Regulatory Services / Chef des Services des règlements municipauxTel / tél. : 613-580-2424, ext. / poste 29257By-law email sig final3NEW2014 (3)cid:image002.png@01CF9D03.992A4260cid:image003.png@01CF9D03.992A4260

Her office also followed up with a phone call that said unless their bylaw officers caught the person actually in the act of placing the illegal signs, they were unable to fine anyone; they're powerless to fine organizations because there's no proof the organization actually had anything to do with the signs.

... Apparently it took 90+ days to give this answer.

What do you think?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Three months and still no response on illegal Working Families signs

The results of the 2014 Ontario election have been studied at discussed at length since that terrible day in June.

But what the City of Ottawa still hasn't responded to are the illegal Working Families signs that sprung up across the city just days before that election.

Ottawa residents were rightly upset that a third party interest group had strategically placed their illegal signs across the city outside of what the bylaws allow.  Even Mayor Jim Watson told Ottawa residents to phone in to 311 to have the signs taken down as soon as possible.

To their credit, city workers responded within a matter of hours, and got most of the signs down within a few hours.  But another round of signs went up, demonstrating that the WFC had plenty of signs in reserve - and they were going to use them in a secondary blitz as soon as the first illegal batch was removed.

But what the city has still failed to do is respond with what they intend to do to the WFC.  I have been contacting the city regularly via email and telephone since the illegal signs hit the streets on June 6.  311, bylaw enforcement, and contacting the chief of bylaw enforcement directly has gone nowhere - for over 90 days now.

With the municipal elections just around the corner in October, ask your potential candidates what they will do if elected to send a message to third party advertisers that post illegal signs in Ottawa.