Signs of having had enough

2 May

The normally easygoing Peter Kent is more than a little testy with Karen Mock, after she accused him of illegally placing election signs. He sent 23 images to Vaughan Today to remind her of a possible mote in her eye, Dan Hoddinott says.

Vaughan Today did not wish to be a player in this election. And in the end, I hope we will not have been one — or, worse, been seen as having desired to be one.

With the ruckus kicked up by our having come to the defense of Conservative incumbent Julian Fantino’s honour — and Vaughan’s reputation, and our profession’s integrity — having died down, I was really hoping we could have escaped the rest of this election cycle without doing anything that would see us become the story.

Not so fast! Quiet, sedate, how-do-you-do Thornhill has arisen. At the eleventh hour, no less, its cruise-controlled re-affirmation of the very congenial Peter Kent as its MP has combusted. Kent and his only conceivable rival, Liberal Dr. Karen Mock, have got into it about the legality of each other’s election sign placement. And wouldn’t you know it? The fire was lit by remarks Mock made in a story appearing on VaughanToday.ca on Friday.

Peter Kent was rather steamed to have Dr. Mock suggesting he was placing his signs illegally. In the age of digital photography, one really should consider one’s quips, I suppose, no matter how clever they seem at the time. Kent reminded us all in a letter to the editor of Vaughan Today — to which he attached 23 photos, complete with descriptions of the Mock team’s transgressions in each one.

I am including Kent’s letter here for your perusal, but not all the photos! Candidates have been taking barbs at each other all campaign long about sign placement issues. We’ve got in on the jabbing phenomenon ourselves, sometimes at the expense of Claudia Rodriguez-Larrain (Vaughan) and Norbert Koehl (Thornhill), two good people who happened to be running for a terribly disorganized party.

Here, then, is the Kent letter:

To The Editor:

So, Karen Mock claims to have “discovered” that I have been placing my election signs without getting people’s permission (Vaughan Today, online edition, April 29)?

Perhaps she can explain the huge pile of documents we have at our campaign office, detailing the permission from each of the more than 4,000 people who took our signs.

Perhaps she can also explain how so many of our signs have gone missing overnight, or how they often turn up planted in another lawn nearby.

Apparently, she has yet to “discover” that her own staff has seemingly been putting up illegal signs all over the riding.  I have attached nearly two dozen examples to get the ball rolling.

Election campaigns should be about serious issues, including trust and honesty, not about sophomoric game playing and libel.

Yours truly,
Peter Kent
Conservative candidate in Thornhill

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