An Alberta Party candidate in the province's upcoming election says his recent interaction with a landlord and prospective voters was a "slap in the face" to democracy.
UPDATE — April 15: Two days after the incident, Gar posted a photo of himself on Twitter with a man named Steve, who he said "personally apologized" for the the incident captured on video.
Grateful to meet w/ Steve tonight. He did personally apologized for the incident. Indicated that he just had a bad day & will also be apologizing to the renter.— Gar Gar (@GarGar4YYCEast) April 13, 2019
As a landlord, Steve did not know that they were changes to @ElectionsAB#ABleg#abpoli#yyc#calgaryeastpic.twitter.com/s08HhuXE2p
Gar Gar told HuffPost Canada he was door-knocking in Calgary's Penbrooke neighbourhood on Wednesday when he ran into a man and a woman who said they supported his campaign. The man told Gar he wanted him to meet his mother and took the candidate back to their house.
Gar said she, too, was a supporter and was interested in a lawn sign.
"Everything went fine. I installed it for her and screwed it in," he said.
"We were about to go to my car, me and my wife, and I heard somebody calling me from my back and say 'hey, you, come back'," said Gar.
The candidate said he thought it was another voter who wanted to speak about the election, but he quickly noticed the man's body language as he approached.
"Just mad. Bursting," Gar said, adding that he started filming when he realized something serious could happen.
The man told Gar he was the landlord of the property and didn't want the signs on his lawn.
Destroying a lawn sign right in front of a renter. In #CalgaryEast, where most voters are renting homes, this only continues to isolate and instill fear in our community. Its a slap in the face for those who died in fighting for our democracy. #abvote#abpoli#yyc#ablegpic.twitter.com/dZyO3xIHoi— Gar Gar (@GarGar4YYCEast) April 11, 2019
Wanting to de-escalate the situation, Gar said he was about to offer to remove the sign when the man decided to "take matters into his own hands."
"Everything just happened so fast, this guy just burst in ... took [the sign] out, ripped it and said here you go," he said.
Election Act outlines tenants' rights
In the video he shared on Twitter, Gar can be heard asking about the woman's rights since — as several users on the social network pointed out — Alberta's Election Act prohibits landlords or condo boards from preventing tenants from displaying election advertising material.
Gar said he could "sense the fear" from the renters, that they wanted to avoid any problems for their living situation.
She later came to him and said that they still supported Gar. But he said she spoke in a lower voice, as if she didn't want the landlord to hear her.
"She was saying 'I'm so sorry.' She shouldn't be the one saying sorry."
Gar said he's running in Alberta's election to help fight what he calls a stigma between renters and homeowners. He said some voters, like the woman on that lawn, might "fear" casting a ballot because they believe they can't make a difference.
For every poster that goes down, it's a slap in the face to donors who believed in us. The people that go out and vote.Gar Gar, Alberta Party candidate
"I think it comes back to each one of us to do their right obligations, to bring the community standard to what it is," he said.
"For every poster that goes down, it's a slap in the face to donors who believed in us. The people that go out and vote."
This isn't the first time that Gar's election material has been damaged. Last month, he found one of his posters defaced with the phrase "vote for your future."
Thinking is about our children is a positive vision, but the real way to make change is through the ballet box.— Gar Gar (@GarGar4YYCEast) March 24, 2019
It pains me to see graffiti in any community. It truly reinforces the negative stigma that we are fighting against every day.#calgaryeast#yyc#ableg#abpolipic.twitter.com/dIpBZpeHTP
Other parties have also seen sign trouble during the campaign.
According to Global News, several fake signs mocking the United Conservative Party have popped up in Calgary, promoting candidates like "Lake of Fire" and "Another Bozo." The UCP blamed the NDP for the signs. The NDP denied the accusations.
Albertans go to the polls on April 16.
Also On HuffPost: