10/18/2013 09:16 EDT | Updated 12/18/2013 05:12 EST

Signs for South Shore mayoral candidate stolen

A candidate for mayor in the South Shore town of Saint-Amable is having to replace almost all of his campaign signs after they were stolen.

Lawn signs and pamphlets promoting Action Saint-Amable mayoral candidate Jasen Coady began disappearing recently, forcing the political newcomer to finance replacements.

"It's a little upsetting. It was hard to raise the money to buy those signs. I've already got people chipping in," Coady told CBC News.

Coady found out about the vanishing signs from supporters who reported them missing. By the time he and his volunteers mobilized to assess the situation, almost all of the signs were gone.

Coady said he entered the campaign expecting some resistance, but nothing like this.

Now his supporters worry the situation could escalate if they put up replacement signs.

"We're already getting people saying, 'I put a sign, I was willing to support you, but I don't want problems, I don't want eggs thrown, I don't want my windows smashed," he said.

Saint-Amable’s incumbent mayor, François Gamache, denounced the removal of his opponent’s signs and said his re-election campaign is not responsible.

“It’s deplorable,” he said. “During an election, everyone has the democratic right to express themselves and present themselves for election.”

Louise Bernard, a volunteer with Coady’s campaign, said it’s discouraging to see their efforts meet with such tactics.

"We work hard as volunteers, six days a week. It's hard to see that work be undone," she said.

Coady, however, hopes the public will prove such dirty tricks don’t work by turning out in greater numbers to vote.

“I hope that it will get people upset or interested," he said.

Voter turnout in St-Amable during the last election was 32 %, one of the lowest turn-out rates in Quebec.