The placard skirmishes have begun in the federal by-election in the Montreal riding of Outremont. Thomas Mulcair’s New Democratic Party forces were first off the mark with their placards when the election was called late last month . The smallish (maybe 25 cm by 75 cm) orange and green-trimmed signs with Mulcair’s face in black and white went up on lampposts all over the riding almost immediately.
Bloc Québécois candidate Jean-Paul Gilson was next with a much bigger poster (a meter by a meter and half perhaps) showing Gilson with Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe. The first signs (the same size as the BQ’s signs but with no reference to the Conservative leader) for the Conservative candidate Gilles Duguay went up last Wednesday.
Strangely many of Mulcair’s signs disappeared the too, but that didn’t annoy the NDP campaign. What did was the fact that some of Duguay’s signs were attached to trees. Campaign director Raymond Guardia protested in writing to City of Montreal director general Claude Leger. “Trees are a precious but fragile part of our urban wealth which do much to improve the quality of life of citizens,” the letter said (my translation.)
So sorry, replied Daniel Pelletier, the Conservative organizer, and sent workers into the field immediately to take the posters down. “Our party also understands that trees must be protected.”
By the weekend the Mulcair signs had been replaced and the face of Liberal candidate Jocelyn Coulon had joined the crowd. His signs are the same size sign as the BQ and the Conservative ones, with no reference to the Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion.
Two Rhinos are talking about entering the combat, Brian Salmi (aka Satan) and Jacques Ferron, but so far the Green Party has not announced a candidate.