The municipality, Aliant Telecom, Nova Scotia Power, and the Provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal have different rules about posting election signs.
Halifax Regional Municipality restrictions on election signs
Specific election signage rules are outlined in municipal By-Law S-801, Respecting Licensing of Temporary Signs. [PDF] The following rules provide an overview only. Contact the Elections Office if you aren’t sure about where you can place your signs.
1. Campaign signs must be restricted to private property and can only be placed with the permission of the property owner until:
a. September 1, in the year of a municipal and school board election
b. for a special election, the day council set the date for the election
c. the day the writ is issued for a federal or provincial election
2. Signs cannot:
- obstruct the view of traffic at intersections and driveways
- be installed on utility poles or street trees
- be installed within the street right of way except as listed in By Law S-801 [PDF]
3. All signs must be removed within one week following the election.
Adherence to By-Law S-801 and the above guidelines should avoid any problems; however, any signs posing a safety hazard will be removed by the municipality at the cost of the candidate.
Specific election sign rules from utility companies and the provincial government
In addition to the rules outlined above, all election signs must comply with the following rules as well.
From Aliant Telecom:
"Aliant Telecom does not permit the unauthorized installation of signs, banners, or posters on our telephone poles. These attachments, as well as the associated means of fastening the signage to the pole, pose a safety hazard to all utility technicians who climb the poles."
From Nova Scotia Power:
"Nova Scotia Power Inc. does not permit the unauthorized installation of signs, banners or posters on power poles. These attachments, as well as associated protruding nails and staples, pose a safety hazard to our power line technicians, as well as employees with other utilities, who work on these poles."
From the Provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal:
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has established the following practice regarding election-related signage near provincial roadways, to coincide with the Advertising Sign Regulations.
Controlled access highways
Controlled access highway such as 100-series highways have specific regulations as well.
Election signs are not permitted:
- within 1,000 metres of the centre line of a controlled access highway
- within 60 metres of the end of ramps or controlled access connectors onto connector/non-controlled access highways
Non-controlled access highways
Non-controlled access highways describe most highways in the province of Nova Scotia. You should have approval of adjacent property owner before posting any signs along highways.
Elections signs on highways:
- should not cause hazard by obstructing sight distance at intersections, parking lots, driveways and to posted traffic control signs
- should be behind ditch line or a minimum of three metres behind the curb
- cannot be attached to Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal signs, guardrails, or guide posts
What happens if an election sign violates these rules on highways?
If an election sign violates these provincial guidelines, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will automatically remove signs under 1.2 x 1.2 meters. For any signs bigger than this, the department will contact the office and allow 24 hours for the candidate’s office to remove the sign (after which time the department will remove it). All signs will be taken down with as little damage as possible and stored until the candidate’s office picks them up.