WARMINGTON: City targets election protest sign

Sign, sign everywhere a sign.

But the City of Toronto says one election sign in Don Valley North (Ward 17) has just got to go.

“Mine is not an election sign, but a protest sign,” said Tony Dundas, a 68-year-old resident in the Don Mills Rd.-Finch Ave. area. “I am just trying to make a point.”

Point taken. But not well by some.

“Shelley,” it says in red on the top line of the cardboard lawn sign. Smaller type on the bottom says: “Get a real job.”

He’s referring to Shelley Carroll, the longtime politician who resigned her city council seat in the spring to run with the losing campaign of Kathleen Wynne and her hapless Liberals. Dundas is not happy that after resigning, Carroll received severance pay for her many years of service on council amd is now running for her old job again.

Tony Dundas (Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun)

He thinks it’s time to give somebody else a turn.

Carroll, or a spokesman from her campaign, has yet to get back to the Toronto Sun on this.

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“We have strong candidates here, including Ken Lister, Christina Liu and Steven Chen (as well as Stella Kargiannakis, Ian Hanecak). I was just sending a message to Shelley Carroll to go and find a new job.”

He’s also concerned that Carroll’s own election signs say she should be “re-elected” even though she quit months before the municipal election.

“She’s no more on council than her opponents,” said Dundas.

But the city says it’s his sign violating election laws.

“Signs require compliance with the election signs rules as they are considered a category of election signs,” said city spokesman Bruce Hawkins. “The sign was not erected in accordance with the election signs rules.”

Hawkins explained “a complaint was received by the city” but added “the city does not divulge details of the complainant.”

Former city councillor Shelley Carroll is pictured at a TTC board meeting. (Michael Peake/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

The city maintains the purpose of the bylaw is to ensure third parties do not unfairly influence elections and undermine spending limits.

“If Mr. Dundas displays his sign in contravention of (the) Toronto Municipal Code … the city has the ability to issue a set fine of $200 (which is the set fine for violations related to the display of Outsider Election Signs), or, issue a court summons to appear in court before a justice of the peace,” said Hawkins. “If convicted, a fine will be levied under the Provincial Offences Act, of up to a maximum of $5,000.”

Dundas said the city can stick it.

“I am not going to take it down and I will take this to the Supreme Court,” he insisted. “It’s my house, my lawn and my right to freedom of expression.  I am having my rights trampled on.”

Ward 17 candidate Christina Liu is backing him up — saying the sign should stay put and the city should back off.

“The only way that sign would be considered a third-party campaign effort is if it cost more than $500,” said Liu. “There’s nothing wrong with this man expressing his views in a country that cherishes free speech and free elections.”

Dundas said other than a city worker telling his son last week to “take it down or he would,” he has not received a formal notice.

Meanwhile, his area has had ongoing problems with potholes, crime, flooding and traffic congestion. While the city has ben slow on this issues, it did manage to send out the sign police promptly.

“I have every right to my opinion,” he said. “This little guy won’t be intimiated.”

Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies