edmonton landlord bullies tenant into removing ndp window sign

Does a tenant have the same freedom of speech as her landlord? Apparently not.
Edmonton tenant takes down election sign after eviction threat

Landlords can order tenants to remove signs supporting federal election candidates, Elections Canada said Tuesday, after an Edmonton woman told CBC News she was threatened with eviction if she didn't remove her sign.

Marilyn Dumont said she received a letter from her landlord saying she would be evicted within 14 days if she didn't remove the sign from her apartment window by Wednesday.

"What I have is a signed letter from the landlord saying that I need to take the sign down and that we're not allowed to post signs inside or outside of the premises," she said.

The sign was for Linda Duncan, who is running for the NDP in Edmonton-Strathcona.

In Dumont's lease, there is a prohibition against placing advertisements in apartment windows.

"Yes I do rent a space. And yes I did sign a lease that says, you know, I couldn't put signs up for advertising. But I don't feel this is advertising. It's an election and it seems to me my democratic right to be able to express my opinion," she said.

CBC could not reach Dumont's landlord for comment.

But a spokeswoman for Elections Canada said while the agency has guidelines for the placement of signs on public land, it has no rules and takes no position about signage on private property, because its an issue between a landlord and a tenant.

"It's a legal thing and has nothing to do with Elections Canada. It's up to the tenant and the landlord to come to an agreement and follow up," said Marie-France Kenny of Elections Canada in Alberta.

Kenny said renters need to check the rules of the condominiums or apartments they live in before they put up a sign.

"As a landlord, I can decide whether my tenant can have a dog … so I can put something in the lease that also says that people can't put any signs, commercials or otherwise, and if I sign the lease, I agree," Kenny said.

Dumont has taken down her sign.

"I'm not prepared emotionally even to pack up and move," she said.

"Kenny said renters need to check the rules of the condominiums or apartments they live in..." Yes, you'd better make sure those rules don't violate your Charter Rights, because apparently your lease is more important.

Our rights as citizens aren't supposed to be tied to property ownership. If my next-door neighbour can put up an election sign, I should also be able to, even though she owns her home and I rent mine.

The candidate in question is Linda Duncan, whose campaign Idealistic Pragmatist is working with.

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