Three Liberal signs are up at the corner of Prest and Chilliwack Central roads — one at the northeast corner

A byelection in everything but name

BC Liberals trip on city bylaw with election signs going up before byelection called in Chilliwack-Hope

BC Liberals have been putting up signs for election candidate Laurie Throness —- violating a city bylaw — even though the Premier has yet to call a byelection.

A city official confirmed bylaw enforcement is investigating complaints about several BC Liberal signs going up without a permit, and before the 28-day byelection campaign officially starts, but could not say how many signs in total might be involved.

BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness, reached on the hustings Thursday, said his election team believed the signs were legal as long as they were on private property.

“That was our understanding,” he said. “If that understanding was incorrect, we’ll move to correct it.”

A city official said the city could not issue a permit for the signs — because no byelection has been called — and thus the BC Liberal signs fall into the category of “third party” commercial signs, which also require a permit.

Election candidates are also required to make a $500 deposit with the city to ensure signs are removed after the election.

BC Conservative candidate John Martin said his campaign team “looked real carefully at the (sign) bylaw in Chilliwack and in Hope and it was pretty clear you don’t put them up until the writ is dropped.”

“It’s a little bit disturbing that these people want to be government in Victoria, but can’t follow a simple bylaw in the jurisdiction they want to elect a new MLA in,” he said.

Al Ens, veteran NDP campaign organizer in Chilliwack, said the Liberal’s sign gaffe “tells me they’re playing games” about calling the byelection.

“Christy Clark has had every opportunity for some time now to call this byelection,” he said. “I think she should call the darn thing, and then people can get on with it.”

“We’ve all been campaigning anyway,” he added, pointing out that NDP candidate Gwen O’Mahony had “run into” Throness this week as both were door-knocking in Agassiz.

NDP sign chairperson Dick Harrington said a large sign to “identify” the party’s election campaign office on Young Road was cleared by the city because it is not a permanent fixture.

“We have 150 4X4 signs ready to go … and the minute the byelection is called we’ll put ours up, but not before then,” he said.

Throness said his party’s eagerness to get election signs up is not an indication of an imminent byelection call by the Premier.

“I don’t know when it’s going to happen,” he said. “I know it’s soon.”

But the teachers’ strike is partly to blame for the delay, he said.

“The government has a lot on its plate right now with the teachers’ strike,” he said.

However, once that issue is settled, Throness said, he believes the byelection will be called — officially.

“I’m ready to go now,” he said.

Just Posted

Snow prayers answered as Manning Park ski hill opens Friday

Ski hill will be open seven days a week starting Dec. 14, and cross-country trails as well

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

Hope rescue crew remove man pinned in semi-truck on Highway 3

Tuesday night rescue was swift, with the man removed safely from the truck within an hour and a half

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Vancouver police make arrest in hit and run that killed skateboarder

Charges stem from a two-year investigation into the April 17 death of 30-year-old Ryan Barron

5 to start your day

Powerful winds anticipated in Lower Mainland, Chilliwack company facing charges in chicken abuse case and more

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Woman dies after being struck by bus in Burnaby

RCMP officers from the traffic and collision teams are investigating

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders have offered Theresa May sympathy but no promises, as the British prime minister seeks a lifeline.

Powerful winds set to hit Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island

The agency says winds in coastal areas will strengthen up to 70 kilometres an hour before the front moves inland and gusts reach 90 kilometres an hour.

Mandatory victim surcharge cruel and unusual punishment, top court rules

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made the charges mandatory in 2013.

Most Read