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The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION

Election signs vanish from city streets

By: Grant Burr

Posted: 09/10/2018 11:30 AM

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Damian Penner takes a look at one of his campaign signs on Main Street in Steinbach. A number of the candidate's signs disappeared over the weekend in an incident reported to Steinbach RCMP.

GRANT BURR | THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

Damian Penner takes a look at one of his campaign signs on Main Street in Steinbach. A number of the candidate's signs disappeared over the weekend in an incident reported to Steinbach RCMP.

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One Steinbach city council candidate says he hopes others don’t face the annoyance of campaign signs disappearing, as he did over the weekend.

Steinbach RCMP were notified on Sunday that 33 of council candidate Damian Penner’s signs had been stolen from different locations around the city.

Penner said most of his signs disappeared Saturday night.

"From what I’ve heard there’s always going to be a few signs that go missing but to see a targeted blitz on one person is odd," he said.

Police said a blue van is believed to be involved in the incident.

Penner said 19 of the missing signs turned up on Monday morning in a neat stack outside of the Jake Epp Library, after he put out a call on social media.

"I’m honoured that someone thinks I’m pretty enough to take all these signs and have them in their house," Penner said with a chuckle, "but it’s something where, especially for municipal elections, we’re very limited on our budget. We don’t have the opportunity to be able to replace these signs. Once they’re gone, they’re essentially gone."

Councillor candidates in Steinbach can spend a maximum of $5,000 on their campaign. Mayoral candidates can spend up to $15,000.

Signs costs for candidates, Penner estimated, range from $9 to $15 per sign.

While signs are just part of a campaign, Penner said they can play an important role.

"It’s definitely something that’s going to draw people to research you, especially in an election where there are so many candidates," he said. "There’s a lot of information to get and I definitely don’t want to see any candidate hindered in getting in being able to get their name out there."

Steinbach RCMP have asked anyone with information about the thefts to call the detachment at (204) 326-4452, CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.manitobacrimestoppers.com, or text "TIPMAN" plus a message to Crimes (274637).

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