VANCOUVER – With one week to go before the federal election, both the Liberal and Conservative parties say their campaign signs are going missing in the Vancouver South riding.
Conservative candidate Wai Young’s campaign claims more than 30 per cent of their lawn signs have been stolen in the riding. In an emailed news release, Young called the alleged thefts “hurtful and dangerous.”
“I worry about our democracy,” Young said, while a lawyer for the Young campaign, implied the Liberal campaign or its supporters were responsible, without providing proof.
Young’s campaign has not responded to requests for comment from CTV News to further explain that claim or back it up with evidence.
The riding’s Liberal candidate, Harjit Sajjan, who beat Young in the riding in 2015, strongly denied that any of his supporters are responsible for vandalism or theft of other candidates’ signs.
“I find it very disappointing that Wai Young’s campaign is making baseless accusations on us,” said Sajjan outside his campaign office Monday.
“Especially since some of our signs have been stolen.”
Both campaigns provided CTV News Vancouver with security camera footage they say shows people stealing their signs.
In what appears to be home surveillance video provided by Young’s campaign, a car can be seen pulling up outside a house after dark. The passenger exits the vehicle and removes a small sign from the lawn in front of the home.
The video is timestamped Oct. 9 at 11:55 p.m., but it’s difficult to see the name on the sign. Nothing in the video, which appears to have been edited to remove the moment the person pulls out the sign, indicates who the alleged perpetrator might be or his or her motive.
The video provided by the Sajjan campaign is also recorded after dark and shows someone approach a large sign on foot, struggling for a moment to remove it from its base, before carrying it down the street over their head.
In their news release, Young’s campaign says it has reported sign thefts to Elections Canada.
The Sajjan campaign says it is documenting each incident and plans to formally complain to Elections Canada at a later date, but stopped short of blaming any specific campaign or individuals.