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Sparks fly over sign destruction

Conservative hopeful says his crews aren’t behind alleged election sign vandalism

COMPETITION: Federal election signs adorn a Kleinburg intersection. (Corey Lewis/Vaughan Today)

The battle for votes in the riding of Vaughan has claimed a number of Liberal incumbent Maurizio Bevilacqua’s election signs.

Call it collateral damage.

A handful of the signs have been harmed or destroyed in apparent acts of vandalism.

“We’ve seen it and we don’t condone any of it,” Conservative challenger Richard Lorello said Monday. “In actuality, I’ve told my sign crews that if I find out that they are engaging in any such practice that they will be sent home.

“We also contacted Mr. Bevilacqua to tell him that we do not engage in this type of stuff.”

At least some of the damage can be chalked up to simple, innocent wear and tear, Lorello said.

But, he added, not all the sign shenanigans have been inadvertent: some of his own signs have sustained damage in the “childish” sign war, too, he said.

“We have witnessed Bevilacqua sign crews and people that we have reported to the police,” Lorello said. “There’s a police report of people vandalizing our signs.”

Bevilacqua roundly dismissed the allegation.

“That’s inaccurate and I think he knows that,” he said Monday. “I think his time would be better spent trying to convince residents of Vaughan that he has an agenda for the city.

“I know my team and it’s a very honest team, a team that works very hard at bringing the community together, and a team that has a track record of winning. And there are those that have a track record of losing.”

Between jabs at each other’s campaigns, both candidates did agree on one thing: this election shouldn’t be about election signs.

“It’s about the issues that affect Vaughan,” Lorello said.

Vaughan Today
In print: September 26, 2008, page 1
Online: September 25, 2008 [link]