canada election signs

Garbage collector caught on camera throwing out election signs

Aside from catching porch pirates and creepy weirdos on film, the increasingly popular "doorbell camera" (read: newfangled home security system) has proven invaluable over the past few years for helping homeowners confirm their suspicions of something fishy going on in their neighbourhoods.

For one resident of Whitby, Ontario, such security footage was enough to get one sanitation worker fired for intentionally destroying election signs — a criminal offence with fines ranging up to $5,000.

Lori, who goes by @votingnurse on Twitter, posted a 15-second-long clip on Monday of a trash collector visibly picking up and throwing a local Liberal candidate's election sign into a garbage truck.

"Today in Whitby caught on home video a garbage worker throwing out the liberal MPs re-election signs," she wrote when tweeting the video, referring to Whitby MP Ryan Turnbull.

In the video, we see a sanitation truck stopping in front of a red sign on someone's front lawn. The driver's side passenger hops out and immediately pulls it out of the ground, tossing it into an on-board trash compactor before emptying out a black bin on top of it.

Perhaps suspecting that the worker might claim he was doing it out for non-political reasons (maybe he was doing it for the environment, unaware that it's totally illegal to toss out election signs?), @votingnurse surveyed other parts of the neighbourhood, where she found similar signs — blue Conservative signs — standing untouched along the same route.

Just over an hour after the video's original publication to Twitter, the Town of Whitby responded to say they'd launched an investigation and would "take appropriate action."

After investigating, the town determined that termination was the appropriate action.

"In response to the recent video of a Town employee removing an election lawn sign and subsequent investigation, the individual is no longer employed by the Town," wrote the Town of Whitby in an update on Tuesday. "We take these matters very seriously."

The original clip continues to gain traction, however, reaching nearly 40,000 views as of Thursday while people all across the political spectrum debate the employee's behaviour.

"Whatever, people are ridiculous... who cares, it was a sign," wrote one local. " Now this guy can not support himself or his family over a crappy sign. There are bigger problems in this world."

"Good, serves him right for thinking breaking multiple laws is okay," wrote another.

"For those who say it was a stupid choice and nothing more: Unfortunately, this weighs a bit more heavy than that. Side note: Not a liberal voter, just someone who believes in consequences for actions."

Canadians remain divided, it seems, with just four days before the snap federal election on Monday, Sept. 20... but what else is new?

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