Several campaign-style signs put up over the last week within the Town of Hay River opposing vaccine mandates and passports and promoting an organization called Canadian Peoples Union appeared to have been removed by the weekend.
Jackie Milne, who has been vocal on social media about her opposition to mandatory vaccines and passports said in a Facebook message to the Hub that the sign displays were organized between her and some like-minded colleagues.
The signs came in two types: makeshift signs with direct messaging like Stop the Mandates or Protect the Children and more formal signs promoting the Canadian Peoples Union’s message of “Fed Up With Lies.” The latter signs directed readers to a website called The Power Shift.ca which spells out in more detail the organization’s positions on vaccine mandates and passports.
“I am the one that put up the signs against the mandates and my friend put up the Power Shift ones,” Milne said, adding she put up about eight last week.
Glenn Smith, senior administrative officer with the Town of Hay River said in an email that most of the signs did not conform with municipal rules, but the town only removed one because it was deemed offensive.
“I can confirm that the Town did remove some signs that were erected recently that contained a symbol of the yellow star of David,” he said in a Sept. 10 email. “We interpreted them as inappropriate and offensive through their comparison to the genocide of European Jewish people during the Holocaust.”
That sign was in fact placed directly under a Jane Groenewegen campaign sign before the municipality had it removed.
Smith said the municipality’s Zoning and Building Bylaw as well as the Unsightly Bylaw have provisions about signage which must be met before a candidate or organization can erect them. People have to apply through the town to put signs up and they have to be approved by the development officer, he said.
“We have chosen not to investigate or remove at this time during the federal election campaigning,” Smith said.
By week’s end last week most of the signs throughout the town were gone with a handful still standing as of Sunday evening.
Milne said she was aware of the one that was removed by the town, but others that have gone missing or that have been knocked down were done by “local extremists.”
As a full-time farmer and owner of the Northern Farm Training Institute, she said she hasn’t been able to constantly monitor the condition of the signs.
“I noticed some are laying on the grass now but I am so busy I have not been able to fix them,” she said.
“I plan to put them back up and people have asked me to put one (in) their driveways because they are against the mandates and passports.”
This story will be updated….