Innisfail has a new election sign bylaw triggered by local complaints that a mayoral candidate had jumped the gun by posting a sign in March.
Former town councillor and mayoral candidate Glen Carritt said he was left with the impression that Municipal Government Act changes that allow people to file their nomination papers after Jan. 1 for the October municipal elections meant campaigning — including use of signs — could begin then.
The issue came before council in March when it was confirmed that town policy prevents posting signs until 45 days before the Oct. 18 election.
However, staff told council that a legal review of the sign policy found there was little the town could do to ensure elections signs were not posted on private property, although the town could restrict signs on its property.
To settle the issue, town directed staff to come up with a bylaw clearly outlining regulations for sign posting and the penalties for breaking the rules.
That policy, passed by council recently, says candidates in municipal, provincial or federal elections cannot put up signs until 45 days before voting day. That date is Sept. 3 for the fall municipal election.
Those who ignore the regulation face fines ranging from $100 to $10,000.
“That will certainly deter putting up signs before the 45 days,” said Coun. Don Harrison.
The bylaw also outlines where signs can be placed on town-owned property and sets out rules for posting signs on private property.