Halifax councillor wants to clean up posters

Councillors ask staff for report

Halifax Coun. Waye Mason says postering is causing too much clutter. Photo: Dylan McAteer

Posters can be seen up and down the streets of Halifax, covering telephone poles and cluttering kiosks. Postering helps to fuel the arts, culture and overall life of the city of Halifax by promoting local causes and events.

But not everyone agrees.

With posters being torn down across the city by unhappy citizens, Halifax regional Coun. Waye Mason proposed a bylaw amendment at Tuesday’s council meeting to clarify the appropriate uses of posters and signs. The result would include size restrictions, as well as holding the person posting the sign accountable for its removal.

In a November Unews story, readers argued in the comments whether the temporary advertising beautifies the city or creates an embarrassing eyesore. The proposed amendment could satisfy both parties, by requiring posters to be cleaned up, Mason says.

“I think it would do a lot to reduce litter throughout the downtown area,” he said.

The amendment would require the poster to be removed within 30 days of posting or up to five days after the event. Pole owners and the municipality hold the right to remove posters at any time without notice.

The amendment didn’t receive resounding support, however, as Coun. Bill Karsten took issue with the proposal.

“My concern is there’s no way of governing this,” said Karsten. “There’s no real bearing on what we can do.”

Karsten said enforcing it would be difficult. With so many posters being put up, it would be a challenge to police, he said.

“We don’t want to adopt something on paper that looks nice on paper, but has no actual impact on the city,” said Karsten.

Mason offered to withdraw his amendment in favour of a staff report. Fourteen of 15 councillors voted to ask for a report.