A sign reading ‘Police State’ is no longer greeting northbound travellers on Highway 17.
The sign on a private North Saanich property, of which the Peninsula News Review first became aware on Wednesday, April 28, was no longer visible on Monday afternoon.
The sign itself was a billboard erected on the flatbed of a pickup truck parked on the property visible from the highway, just off Bazan Bay Road. Two signs in the form of sheriff badges flanked the make-shift billboard, reading ‘By order Deputy Dixxon’ and ‘Johnny Sheriff Rotten.’ The first sign could be read by as reference to provincial Health Minister Adrian Dix and the use of the phrase police state suggests dissatisfaction with public health measures responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is not clear when billboard went up and when it came down as it was still visible Sunday morning.
Smaller text – not fully legible from a distance – in the corner of the sign identified a person with the first name of Mike as a “Registered Sponsor under the Elections Act” and included a phone number, which the Peninsula News Review linked to Mike Pendray of 2090 Bazan Bay Rd. in North Saanich as per the database of the Registered Provincial Third Party Advertising Sponsors maintained by Elections BC. A spokesperson for Elections BC said Pendray first registered as a third-party sponsor in 2013 as part of the provincial election that year. Rules do not require him to disclose the value of advertisements unless they are part of an election campaign and Elections BC played no part in the sign’s disappearance.
The Peninsula News Review has reached out to Pendray multiple times to ask about the sign, but did not receive a response by deadline.
North Saanich did not have any involvement with the removal of the sign, and has not been in contact with the owner, according to a district spokesperson.
Cpl. Carrie Harding of the Sidney/North Saanich said Monday that police received two complaints about the sign. “They just found the sign offensive and didn’t agree with it,” she said. “But that sign is on private property and as long as it is not hate speech or anything of that nature, you are perfectly within your rights to put a sign on your property.”
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