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NNSL Photo/Graphic

PSAC political action committee chair Suzette Montreuil stands beside one of 10 political signs, posted by the Public Service Alliance of Canada North, around Yellowknife. - Brent Reaney/NNSL photo

Sign of the election times

Brent Reaney
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (June 23/04) - Those big yellow signs at the side of the road pushing political slogans aren't from a new political party.

They have been put there by the Public Service Alliance of Canada North union to urge people to get out to the polls.

While PSAC North also put up signs during the last territorial election, this is the first time it's being done federally, said Suzette Montreuil, chair of PSAC North's political action committee.

"This is very much a pro-vote campaign," Montreuil said.

The signs posted around Yellowknife carry phrases such as "Global warming is not cool," or "Education should not be a debt sentence."

Voter turnout in the NWT during the 2000 federal election was the lowest in Canada at 52.2 per cent of those eligible to cast a ballot, according to Statistics Canada.

Some of the money that might have been used by PSAC North to support a candidate has been put into 10 signs bearing the political messages.

This is partly because new election financing rules limit the amount of money which unions and corporations can contribute to a candidate's campaign.

Under the same set of rules, each political party that gets two per cent of the popular vote in the June 28 federal election will be given $1.75 per vote earned.

For this election, signs are being placed across the three territories and depending on the response, the organization may continue posting the signs in future elections.

"I've had more comments about this than lots of things the union has done," Montreuil said.