Skip to content

Quick resolves for improperly placed election signs

City bylaw manager Stefany Mussen said the city has received 23 complaints regarding election signs thus far in the the provincial election season, and that they have all been quickly resolved without the need for fines to be issued
The fence surrounding the former St. Joseph's Hospital property is a popular area for election signs. The placement of election signs is limited to private property with landowner permission.

Election signs being mistakenly placed on public lands isn’t limited to any one political party, but it’s not exactly a significant issue, with compliance to the city bylaw coming quickly.

So described city bylaw manager Stefany Mussen, who counted 24 calls into the city this provincial election season as of Wednesday, of which 23 were complaints and one was for information.

The municipal bylaw campaigns are in breach of prohibits election signs from being placed on public land and limit their placement to private property with landowner permission.

Complaints related to Progressive Conservative signs led the pack with 10, followed by the New Blue party and then the NDP and Liberals, with two complaints of an unknown party affiliation.

“Each election, candidates are actually provided with an information package that includes election expectations and rules, but we of course still receive complaints each year,” Mussen told, adding that not everyone involved involved the campaigns is necessarily made abreast of the rules.

It’s further complicated by the fact that volunteers are oftentimes the ones who are putting out the signs, who are also confronted with uncertainty regarding where lot lines are located.

Although the city’s bylaw enforcement division has received 23 complaints thus far, Mussen said it’s unclear how many of the complaints were valid. Bylaw officers haven’t had to lay any fines yet this year, she said, “and typically we don’t.”

Taking an education-first approach, she said that those who have placed signs where they shouldn’t have were contacted by bylaw officers and were quick to address the concern before a financial penalty or the city’s removal of the sign at a cost to the candidate was made necessary.

The city’s latest user fees bylaw stipulates that the total fee for removing a sign is $144 including HST and that there’s a storage of removed signs fee of $10 per day plus HST.

Both during and following last week’s Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce debate among Nickel Belt candidates, NDP candidate France Gélinas had strong words for Progressive Conservative candidate Randy Hazlett, whose signs had been spotted on public land. 

“We make laws, as an MPP,” Gélinas told after the debate. “The least you can do is show respect to the existing laws. … Respect the laws that are there, because you’re asking to be a legislator.”

The same election sign bylaw will apply to the Oct. 24 municipal and school boards election, during which signs are allowed to be erected on Aug. 20, which is the day after the nomination period closes, and must be removed after election day. 

Additional details on the municipal rules regarding election signs can be found by clicking here.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for