MP Brian Masse says Billboard Election Violation a Miscommunication

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The MP for Windsor-West is responding to a ruling by Elections Canada against him.

Brian Masse says an investigation determined three of his billboards in the riding were not removed after the 2019 federal election was called which goes against election rules.

Masse admits he was in the wrong, but says it was due to a miscommunication with the billboard company as to when the sign needed to come down.

Masse says he's looking forward to sharing more information with Elections Canada.

"We requested them to come down. That was happening right away with regards to one billboard company, the other one took a little longer. So, hence, there has been a complaint. Elections Canada has yet to give me any official correspondence. So we're looking forward to the opportunity to give them some more information."

He says his team thought the issue was handled.

"In fact, we went to extra care and precaution to ensure the billboards could come down and we had advertised within the timeframe that was responsible. We had one billboard company that was able to comply, whereas, the other one took longer. So that's been the issue."

Masse says it's a tough situation, but there were no bad intentions.

"There's no doubt that that's the case, but there is a concern being expressed. We had the one comply from the company right away, whereas, the second has taken full responsibility for not complying right away and I'm not sure what we can do about that because it's something that was out of our hands."

The Commissioner of Canada Elections has stated he intends to proceed using "informal means" — this means Masse will not likely face any charges or financial penalties.

The complaint was brought forward by Windsor-Essex resident Edy Haddad who worked for Liberal Audrey Festeryga's campaign in the Essex riding during the 2019 election.

— with files from AM800's Gord Bacon