Shalom Life | April 21, 2014

Election Signs to be Affixed after Jewish Holidays

Toronto councillors have moved to change days to appeal to Jewish candidates.

By: Bev Spritzer

Published: August 30th, 2010 in News » World

Election Signs to be Affixed after Jewish Holidays

Toronto councillors have cut by four days the period people can display municipal candidates' signs out of consideration to the city's Jewish community.

Except at candidate's offices, the signs were not to be posted before Sept. 30.

On Thursday, Toronto’s amendments regarding election signs were officially changed so that the first day to affix election signs will no longer be on religious Jewish holidays.

Originally, the city of Toronto had a bylaw where a candidate could not put up election signs until the 30th of September, but this is when Shemini Atzeret falls this year. As well, October 1st is Simchat Torah, and the 2nd is Shabbat.

Jewish organizations, and at least one candidate for council, complained this would give candidates a disadvantage if they observed Jewish religious law, since September 30, and the three days following, are holidays in which Jews are told to "do no work."

So for Jewish candidates, the opposition would have a three day head start in putting up their lawn signs, which is one of the most crucial parts of the campaign.

“There was a lack of fairness in the bylaw,” James Pasternak told Shalom Life. “In election campaigns, they are very highly regulated you can’t just put up your lawn signs whenever you feel like it, everything has a date attached to it and a rule. And the reason election laws are written that way is so that everyone has a reasonable chance of winning and there’s no lack of fairness.”

“So we’ve been working with Len Rudner at CJC as well as the B’nai Brith, and any other elected representative that we could find,” Pasternak continued. “Councillors Ootes and Feldman brought a motion forward to change the dates to October 4, and it was passed on Thursday through city council.”

This move would place all candidates on equal ground.

The motion passed, 31-4, leaving candidates three weeks for signs on lawns, billboards and shop windows before the October 25 voting day, Inside Toronto reported.

Feldman, a longtime North York councillor who is not currently running for re-election, made it clear he wants a level playing field for those in the race to replace him.

In his ward, he added, "there are nine candidates who are Jewish, one who is not. I'm supporting the one who is not," Feldman said, referring to his former senior executive assistant, Nancy Oomen.

Feldman said Len Rudner, regional director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, was the first to call him and say that starting the display period for signs on the festivals of Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, and then the Jewish Sabbath, gave non-Jewish candidates an "unfair advantage," it was reported.

Feldman had wanted to start the display period a day earlier, but a law setting election dates makes that impossible without the province's agreement.

Pasternak told Shalom Life he appreciates councillor Feldman’s ongoing support, as well as Len Rudner’s work on this file, ultimately changing the dates in favour of an equal playing field.

“I think it’s important that now there’s a real fairness in the campaign across the city, especially in Jewish ridings.”

What You Missed in the News: April 13 - 20 What You Missed in the News: April 13 - 20 TrendingA Children's Haggadah Made By Children [VIDEO] A Children's Haggadah Made By Children [VIDEO] TrendingItalian Politician Mocks Primo Levi Holocaust Poem Italian Politician Mocks Primo Levi Holocaust Poem Trending
 

What You Missed in the News: April 13 - 20

April 20, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
What You Missed in the News: April 13 - 20

Our Top Stories this week include our Passover Book Series, an interview with Jeremy Diamond, the best Bible films, and more

Read More

James Franco’s Ex-Manager Sued for Embezzling Money From the Actor

April 18, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
James Franco’s Ex-Manager Sued for Embezzling Money From the Actor

James Levy is being sued by his former partners at James Levy Management

Read More

James Franco and Idina Menzel Set For Easter Bonnet Competition

April 18, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
James Franco and Idina Menzel Set For Easter Bonnet Competition

Franco and Menzel join Bryan Cranston, Fran Drescher and others at the event benefitting AIDS.

Read More

Spielberg’s Latest Project: A Film About a Jew Who Becomes a Priest

April 18, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Spielberg’s Latest Project: A Film About a Jew Who Becomes a Priest

The 'Schindler's List' director joins 'The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara'

Read More

Jewish Top 10s: Bible Movies

April 18, 2014 | By Zak Edwards
Jewish Top 10s: Bible Movies

In honor of Passover, we look at some of the best feature films that reinterpret stories from the Bible

Read More

Emotional Pain Isn't Just in Your Head

April 18, 2014 | By Abigail Klein Leichman
Emotional Pain Isn't Just in Your Head

A new Israeli-US study provides breakthrough in understanding the brain mechanisms that cause physical pain resulting from depression

Read More

A Children's Haggadah Made By Children [VIDEO]

April 18, 2014 | By Ynet News
A Children's Haggadah Made By Children [VIDEO]

Created by students of Rav Elio Toaff nursery school in Rome, 'cheerful Haggadah' is specially made for other children, not only Jewish

Read More

Italian Politician Mocks Primo Levi Holocaust Poem

April 18, 2014 | By Graham Sigurdson
Italian Politician Mocks Primo Levi Holocaust Poem

Beppe Grillo, head of an anti-establishment movement, released the parody on his blog that Jewish activists have labelled an 'obscenity'

Read More

More Headlines