People's Party candidate reusing old Conservative campaign signs
WINNIPEG -- Two candidates from two different parties are vying for votes with similar blue campaign signs in a west Winnipeg riding, but only one of them is running for the Conservatives.
Steven Fletcher, a former Tory and cabinet minister in the Stephen Harper government, has re-purposed his old campaign signs even though he’s now running for Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada.
On his signs, blue paint covers the Conservative logo and the CPC letters are changed to PPC. He’s even placed tape over the CPC logo on his “Team Fletcher” jacket.
The Conservative Party association in the riding of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley wants the CPC signs back – a legal demand that will take months to sort out, with the federal election in just 10 days.
“Give me a break. While they’re complaining about 50 shades of blue, I’m worried about the people of (this riding),” Fletcher told CTV News. “It’s environmentally friendly. Why do they hate recycling.”
The Conservative candidate in the riding, Marty Morantz, said he’s focusing on what’s within his “control,” which is “going door-to-door and talking to folks.”
The sign colour controversy falls into a gray area. The Canada Elections Act doesn’t govern the content of campaign signs, just their cost, which must be accounted for and authorized by an official agent.
Fletcher said the signs were given fair market value in his campaign expenses.
Liberal incumbent Doug Eyolfson, who ran against Fletcher in the 2015 election and won, said campaign signs don’t determine the outcome of a vote.
“Signs don’t vote, it’s the people that vote,” he said. “And I’ve been relying on the responses I’m getting at the doors.”
After Fletcher lost the federal election in 2015, he ran for the Manitoba Tories in the provincial election and won. A year later, he was booted out of the provincial caucus and the federal Conservatives refused to let him run for them again in this election.
With files from The Canadian Press