In the early morning of Thursday, October 17, several NDP campaign election signs were damaged in the Vancouver-Kingsway riding. The MP of East-Vancouver riding Jenny Kwan had several of her NDP election signs damaged and torn. Citizens who put up signs support of Jenny Kwan in their private front yards also had their signs taken down.
“This is not the first time to happen to me, it happens to me pretty well, every campaign and in every campaign, inevitably, someone goes to destroy signs, and damage signs,” said Jenny Kwan, the MP of the NDP’s East-Vancouver riding, in a phone interview with Narcity Media.
Kwan was elected to Parliament to represent the riding of Vancouver East in 2015. In Ottawa, she serves as the NDP's Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, as well as the Critic for Multiculturalism. Kwan was not only the city’s youngest-ever city councillor but also the first Chinese Canadian Cabinet Minister in British Columbia.
There is no investigation currently being conducted by the campaign about who might possibly be responsible for the destruction of these election signs. The signs were slashed, and had graffiti drawn on some of them. The bigger signs were also torn down from their wooden structures.
“It always makes me feel a little bit sad about it. What we focus on of course, is to get those signs replaced,” said Kwan.
“And sometimes the people who offer to take the signs get upset as well because people want to show their support and they're upset at the fact that their sign has been destroyed on their property. And so we're very mindful of that as well,” continued Kwan.
While no clear motive has been found in why these signs could have been damaged, Kwan says that it’s not always easy to catch the perpetrators even if an investigation was conducted by the campaign.
According to Kwan, oftentimes citizens who keep these signs in the front yard will call to let the campaign know if the signs get destroyed, but they’re never quite sure what time of the day the posters were vandalized.
Vandalized signs have been popping up all over Canada this year. Another NDP candidate in Alberta had his signs vandalized with racist graffiti in September of this year. In B.C., a Liberal candidate had his signs similarly vandalized with blackface.
“We have no idea who might have done it, or even when they may have done it. We just sort of come across it,” said Kwan.
“People have no idea who might have done it and when it was done. So I think it'd be pretty hard for the police to try and follow up, so we don't report it, we just deal with it,” said Kwan.
The Canadian federal election is happening on Monday, October 21 and so far we've seen some pretty crazy things happening.