Election-related signs

The municipality, Aliant Telecom, Nova Scotia Power, as well as the Provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal have different rules related to posting election signs. These rules are outlined below.

Halifax Regional Municipality restrictions on election signs

Specific election signage rules are outlined in municipal By-Law S-801, Respecting Licensing of Temporary Signs. 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:
  • Sept. 1, in the year of a municipal and school board election;  
  • for a special election, the day council set the date for the election; or,
  • the day the writ is issued for a federal or provincial election.

2. Signs must not: 

  • obstruct the view of any crosswalk, traffic at intersections and driveways, center medians of streets;
  • be installed on utility poles or street trees; or, 
  • be installed within the street right of way except as listed in By Law S-801.

3. All signs must be removed within one week following the election.

Note: Should an election sign be found to be posing a safety risk, it will be removed immediately. Should a sign be found to be in violation of the regulations but is not causing an immediate risk, it will be ordered to be removed within 48 hours. For any signs not removed within the prescribed time, the municipality may remove the sign at the cost of the candidate.

For any signage-related questions or concerns within the municipality, please call 311. 

Specific election sign rules from utility companies and the provincial government

In addition to the rules outlined above, all election signs must also comply with the following rules: 

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 highways, 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; or, 
  • 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 these 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; and, 
  • 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? 

For any election signs that violate these provincial guidelines, the Department of Transportation and Active Transit will automatically remove signs under 1.2 x 1.2 meters.  For any signs larger 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 removed signs will be taken down with as little damage as possible and stored until the candidate’s office picks them up

Note: For questions related to the 2021 Federal Election, please contact Elections Canada