No drawing sharpie moustaches, people. ❌
There's really nothing like groggily shuffling out of the house, room-temperature coffee in hand, on a grey fall morning and getting figuratively smacked in the face by the beaming air-brushed visage of your MNA stretched to disconcertingly disproportionate dimensions across a garish fluorescent backdrop. Campaign posters are — for better or worse — the most visible marker of any Quebec election period.
The variety and ubiquity of posters filled with guileful politician smiles might seem to suggest there are no limits on their placement. But ahead of the official launch of the campaign, Élections Québec is reminding parties and voters of the rules governing poster use.
First, the agency says posters can't "compromise traffic or pedestrian safety." So enormous posters blocking views of crosswalks and traffic lights? Definitely a no-go. Drivers here are bad enough without further excuse to ignore stop signs.
Signs can't go on bus shelters either unless they have a designated spot for advertising, according to Élections Québec.
Also not allowed are posters on bridges, trees or heritage buildings.
Further rules apply when the time comes to actually vote. To "ensure that voters are not pressured or influenced when they go to the polls," posters can't even be visible from polling station entrances.
And despite the many, many examples of (sometimes very creative) poster vandalization, Élections Québec warns that such acts are violations of the Criminal Code and encourages witnesses to call the police. You might want to remind your friend with the framed 2018 poster of François Legault with a sharpie moustache that stealing them is illegal too.
Finally, once Election Day passes, parties have 15 days to take down their posters. After that and another five days of notice, property owners of municipalities can "charge them for the costs of removal."
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