A Liberal candidate in eastern Ontario says about 30 of his campaign signs were stolen overnight in what he calls a “targeted” attack against his run for office.
Pierre Leroux, who’s running in the riding of Glengarry–Prescott–Russell, said he woke up Sunday morning to a text message from a friend who told him one of his signs was stolen.
He said he then decided to take a drive through the riding to see if any others had disappeared overnight.
“By the time I was done, I realized about 75 per cent of the signs I had in the township were gone,” Leroux said.
The incident comes days after Leroux came under fire for posting a cartoon video online that depicted the Ottawa neighbourhood of Vanier, where he grew up, as a crime-ridden slum.
He took the video down after complaints from his political opponents and community members, including Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury.
Leroux doesn’t think what happened overnight was a random incident, and said other candidates’ signs were not affected.
At least one of his signs, he said, was removed from its posts.
“If it was just vandalism, they would have just busted them up. But the fact that the signs are being stolen — and it’s only my personal signs being stolen — that’s why I think it’s targeted,” he said.
The troubling thing about the missing signs, Leroux added, is that they’re paid for by donations and installed by volunteers who take time out of their day to help with the campaign.
“I don’t think anybody should be messing around with signs during an election, personally,” he said.
“I think it’s disrespectful, and regardless of what your beliefs are — the party, your support, all that kind of stuff — we have a democratic process. And it should be allowed to [run] its course without interference.”
Leroux said he will meet with his campaign team Monday to figure how to replace the signs.
He also said he would be filing a police report.