Family name under attack
When does political correctness supersede common sense? Or personal rights? Those questions will soon be sorted out in a Nova Scotia courtroom.
The case may not result in any landmark decisions impacting the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms but it should result in a favourable verdict for Lorne Grabher of Dartmouth.
Grabher wants his name back and his honour restored. Both were taken away last fall.
For 27 years, the Grabher family name was on personalized licence plates. Lorne is proud of his Austrian-German heritage and his son carries on the family tradition in Alberta.
The brouhaha began in late 2016 when two complaints from the public alleged the plate was offensive to women. The Nova Scotia Registrar of Motor Vehicles agreed and cancelled the plate, in use for almost a generation.
Grabher, a retired corrections officer, is not advocating assaulting women or supporting sexual misconduct. His name is not a slogan. If intent is an issue, Grabher explained he put the family name on the licence plate decades ago as a gift for his late father’s birthday.
Now some people have decided to stick their interfering noses and insert regulatory red tape in an area where it’s none of their business.
Grabher is now seeking justice in the provincial Supreme Court. He is supported by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which correctly argues that revoking the plate is discriminatory and strips Grabher of his Charter rights to free expression.
Grabher family members are “deeply offended and humiliated.” What say you, two members of the public and provincial bureaucracy? Perhaps next time, use some common sense.
A provincial spokesperson said the rejection of Grabher’s licence plate wasn’t related to obscene comments made by Donald Trump in which the president said he grabbed women. Of course it was. If Trump hadn’t made those inflammatory comments, it’s unlikely that this case would have surfaced.
Diversity is what makes this country so special. Various ethnic groups and their family names are important components of Canadian history and culture. Instead, we hear that the Grabher name is a socially unacceptable slogan, hateful towards women, misogynistic and promoting violence against females.
Is the department and the two members of the public suggesting Grabher change his name to satisfy their sense of moral outrage? If the Grabher name is unacceptable on a license plate, what’s next on the banned list? Where does it end?
It’s time to stop harassing a family and discriminating against law-abiding citizens. There are more important issues to worry about in Nova Scotia and elsewhere in Canada than wasting taxpayers’ money on a senseless courtroom battle.
Family member Tracey Grabher joined the fray.
In a Facebook post she joked, “I’m still looking for a Hiscock. Tracey Grabher-Hiscock has a nice ring to it.” Touché, Ms. Grabher.
Lorne Grabher doesn’t want an apology. He just wants his licence plate. The province is well advised to give him both.