City of Abbotsford council hopeful and AbbotsfordFirst slate member Dave Sidhu has broken the city’s election sign bylaw in advance of the byelection in September.
Sidhu shared on social media over the weekend that he was putting up signs throughout the city and, as of Monday morning (July 26), many were still up.
He shared an Instagram story stating, “Campaign signs are going up #Abbotsford” along with two photos showing the signs. He then shared another story thanking his team for all their hard work and included more photos.
The city of Abbotsford confirmed with The News that candidates are not allowed to put up signs until the nomination period begins on Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 9 a.m.
Aletta Vanderhyden, the city’s communications manager, said anyone breaking the rule will have their signs removed and then stored at a city facility.
“If someone puts up a campaign sign that does not meet the guidelines outlined in the Elections Sign Bylaw, as per section 9.2, the sign is removed and stored at a city facility where it may be claimed by the candidate or another authorized individual. If it is not claimed within seven days, the sign is disposed of,” she said.
Sidhu admitted his campaign made an error and are now removing the signs until they are allowed.
“In our enthusiasm, our sign team got ahead of themselves and put up a number of campaign signs on our supporters’ properties early,” he stated. “We realized the mistake this morning [Monday] and are currently in the process of removing the signs. We are excited to get our campaign going and looking forward to meeting with folks in the community to discuss local issues and how we can keep Abbotsford moving forward.”
Sidhu participated in the 2018 Abbotsford municipal election, but narrowly missed gaining a seat on council at that time. He collected 12,187 votes – good for ninth place. Only the top eight vote-getters earned a seat.
He was the only member of the AbbotsfordFirst slate to not earn a seat, as Brenda Falk, Ross Siemens, Kelly Chahal and Sandy Blue all finished in the top eight.
Falk left the slate in May shortly after she made comments that many people believe compared COVID-19 restrictions to Nazi Germany.
The Abbotsford byelection is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25 to replace former councillor Bruce Banman, who was elected the MLA for Abbotsford South in the October 2020 provincial election.