Can­di­date draws the line on van­dal­ism

Montreal Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - ANDY RIGA

If you want to de­face an elec­tion sign, look for one pro­mot­ing Mon­treal may­oralty can­di­date Tyler Lemco.

“You can van­dal­ize this sign,” his posters read, with plenty of white space around his face that passersby have been filling with doo­dles, draw­ings and so­cial-me­dia han­dles.

While po­lice in­ves­ti­gate hate­ful graf­fiti scrawled on signs of more tra­di­tional can­di­dates, Lemco is hap­pily post­ing pho­tos of his dis­fig­ured mug on his cam­paign Face­book page.

“It par­al­lels well with the whole point of my cam­paign, which is to try to mo­ti­vate peo­ple to speak up and use their voice and not just be so com­pla­cent,” Lemco, 29, told the Mon­treal Gazette.

“I also wanted to to see what they would draw all over my face,” added Lemco, a writer and You Tu­ber. Mon­treal­ers have tar­geted his photo with lip­stick, uni­brows, pointy ears, eye patches and vam­pire teeth. Though he doesn’t un­der­stand it, his favourite was: “Toy Story 2 was OK.”

He has put up 20 signs, with an­other 15 set to be posted in the com­ing days.

Lemco has no plat­form but is gath­er­ing ideas dur­ing “bar-to­bar” cam­paign­ing. Top gripes from vot­ers: road construction, pot­holes, ir­re­spon­si­ble govern­ment spend­ing and the pit bull ban. If elected, “I’ll do my best to right all those wrongs.”

It’s his first elec­tion cam­paign, but not his first elec­tion-sign cam­paign. In the 2015 fed­eral elec­tion, he put up sev­eral posters fea­tur­ing his name, his face, a city of Mon­treal logo and his slo­gan: “Not run­ning for any­thing, I just wanted a sign.”

Lemco does not con­done van­dal­iz­ing other can­di­dates’ signs.

“If some­one is putting the money and the time and ef­fort and en­ergy into cam­paign­ing prop­erly, it’s not cool to draw all over their signs,” he said. “So just draw on my face.”

Sev­eral cases of van­dal­ism have marred the Mon­treal elec­tion.

On Twit­ter, De­nis Coderre, run­ning for re-elec­tion as mayor of Mon­treal, posted a photo of one of his signs de­faced with a swastika over his face. “This act is to­tally un­ac­cept­able and is to be con­demned,” he wrote. “This is a hate in­ci­dent that can­not be tol­er­ated.”

In the Côte-des-Neiges/ Notre Dame-de-Grâce bor­ough, a van­dal tar­geted a Pro­jet Mon­tréal sign fea­tur­ing pho­tos of three fe­male can­di­dates — leader Valérie Plante, bor­ough mayor can­di­date Sue Mont­gomery and in­cum­bent coun­cil­lor Magda Po­peanu. The word “sluts” was scrawled over their faces in red marker.

Mont­gomery, a for­mer Mon­treal Gazette re­porter and an ad­vo­cate for women who have been sex­u­ally as­saulted, de­nounced the van­dal­ism, say­ing she en­tered pol­i­tics in part to fight sex­ism and misog­yny.

Luc Fer­ran­dez, run­ning for re­elec­tion as Plateau-Mont-Royal bor­ough mayor, saw sev­eral of his signs plas­tered with printed stick­ers with the hash­tag #fuck­luc­fer­ran­dez.

In Park Ex­ten­sion, sev­eral Coali­tion Mon­treal posters were slashed, in­clud­ing those for city coun­cil can­di­date Mo­ham­mad Yousuf, whose

If some­one is putting the money and the time and ef­fort and en­ergy into cam­paign­ing prop­erly, it’s not cool to draw all over their signs. So just draw on my face.

signs in­clude mes­sages in eight languages spo­ken in the district — Ben­gali, Pun­jabi, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, Greek, French and English.

“I don’t have any per­sonal problems with any­one,” said Yousuf, a jour­nal­ist of Bangladeshi ori­gin who is Mus­lim. “It could be Is­lam­o­pho­bia or racism be­cause my name is Mo­ham­mad Yousuf.”

Re­gard­ing the van­dal­ism com­plaints re­ceived, po­lice spokesper­son Daniel La­cour­sière pointed out, “It’s not the first year we have an elec­tion, not the first time we see this kind of van­dal­ism.

“If there’s a com­plaint, it’ll be in­ves­ti­gated as far as it can be,” he added. “If it’s mis­chief be­cause some­one painted the face of the can­di­date and there’s no sus­pect, no cam­era, a file will be opened but there won’t be an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. It will go as far as it can go with the in­for­ma­tion we can get.”


Though he wasn’t run­ning in the 2015 fed­eral elec­tion, Tyler Lemco put up sev­eral posters fea­tur­ing his name, his face and his slo­gan: “Not run­ning for any­thing, I just wanted a sign.” Now, Lemco is of­fer­ing up his mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion cam­paign posters to give van­dals an out­let.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.