Conservative candidate John Duncan is the sole victim of political vandalism in this riding.
Ten of Duncan’s large campaign signs that read “re-elect John Duncan” over the classic Conservative blue backdrop have been run over, tampered with by cutting the centre out of the frame or stolen all together, the candidate told The NEWS Tuesday morning.
“It’s not fair play,” Duncan said. “It’s contrary to freedom of expression.”
Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman confirmed at least seven Conservative campaign signs have been cut down with a knife and discarded in nearby bushes in the last two weeks in Parksville and French Creek.
“Our membership is keeping this in mind during patrols,” said Foreman. “This is mischief and an additional offence under the Elections Act.”
Asked if the vandalism was frustrating, Duncan, a 22-year veteran politician who is currently the MP for Vancouver Island North and government whip said “it’s just another thing you have to deal with” in politics.
“The reason you’re not seeing signs is because of the damage,” he said.
“It’s not because we’re not interested in expressing our political interests — it’s because people are taking our signs away.”
Each of the large signs is worth about $60.
Duncan is asking the public to keep their eyes open for any type of campaign vandalism in Parksville Qualicum Beach. Staffers for Liberal, NDP and Green candidates vying against Duncan confirmed they haven’t experienced campaign sign vandalism in this election.
In 1993 during Duncan’s first successful bid for federal office, he recalls every one of his campaign signs from Gibsons to Powell River was defamed with spray-painted swastikas.