BRITISH COLUMBIA

'Stop Harper' Sign Removal Plagues Prince Rupert, B.C.

08/16/2015 11:46 EDT | Updated 08/16/2015 11:59 EDT

Anti-Harper vandalism is costing a B.C. city.

Stop signs in Prince Rupert, B.C. have been changed to read "Stop Harper" with stickers, and the city has had enough.

Operations manager Garin Gardiner told CBC's Daybreak North that the modified signs pose a safety risk for both drivers and pedestrians.

"They are obstructing the signs or affecting the coating that is on there to make it less reflective and they are not as effective for drivers," Gardiner told the radio program.

Six signs have been removed from the municipality so far at a cost of $53.50 each — but that does not include installation fees.

"As a taxpayer, I don't enjoy having to pay to remove signs, and put them back up, and put new signs up because someone has chose to put a sticker on there," city councillor Wade Niesh said in an interview with CFTK TV.

He blamed the federal election campaign for the growing issue, and noted that municipalities have to try to steer clear of partisan politics.

The City of Fredericton also took aim at "Stop Harper" signs in June, noting that they were acts of vandalism and not of free speech.

The signs have been spotted across the country, including in Toronto, Edmonton and even Stephen Harper's home riding of Calgary Southwest.

Liberal MP Wayne Easter also tweeted a photo of one in PEI in February.

The stop sign design is reminiscent of former rogue Senate page Brigette DePape's "Stop Harper" poster from 2011.

The anti-Harper materials are available on the website StopHarperStickers.com, which claims to have reached "over 150 cities [and] towns" in Canada.

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