Coun. Grant Meyer said he no longer has concerns about political T-shirts at White Rock Farmers’ Market, following a staff report. (File photo)

T-shirts no longer a concern – Meyer

Corporate report affirms freedom of expression at Farmer’s Market

White Rock Coun. Grant Meyer says he has no more concerns about the potential influence of political T-shirts at the White Rock Farmer’s Market during next year’s civic election.

“This has never been a big deal for me,” Meyer told Peace Arch News following Monday night’s council meeting.

At its Nov. 20 meeting, council had deferred consideration of the market’s use of Miramar Plaza next year on a controversial motion from Meyer, who said an unnamed prospective politician had suggested that market vendors or participants wearing political T-shirts might unduly influence voters during the campaign.

During this week’s meeting, council heard and received a corporate report from chief administrative officer Dan Bottrill, in which he said there were not likely to be any violations of the Elections Act by the Farmer’s Market.

Due to the provincial shift in municipal elections to October from November, the market will, for the first time, be operating during the election campaign.

Bottrill’s report notes that the market had no desire to have political organizations as vendors and would not be operating at a time that voting was taking place.

It also notes the right of market participants to express ideas on social and political issues, adding that it would be “inappropriate and illegal to attempt to impose any restrictions on an organization or individuals participating in this event.”

Council voted to receive the report, without comment.

Meyer later said the report dispelled concerns he had mentioned.

“Some organizations get more politrical than others, which is their business,” he told PAN. “The matter has been looked into and I have no concerns.”

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