When a fam­ily is shamed be­cause of its name

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

This ap­peared the Amherst Daily News Cit­i­zen-Record:

When does po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness su­per­sede com­mon sense? Or per­sonal rights?

Those ques­tions will soon be sorted out in a Nova Sco­tia court, and while it may not re­sult in any changes to the Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms, it could have im­pli­ca­tions that are far­ther-reach­ing than just that one court­room.

Lorne Grab­her of Dart­mouth is hop­ing it will at least re­sult in a favourable ver­dict for his fam­ily. He wants his name back and its hon­our re­stored.

For 27 years, the Grab­her fam­ily name was proudly pro­claimed on per­son­al­ized li­cence plates. Lorne is proud of his Aus­trian-Ger­man her­itage and his son car­ries on the fam­ily tra­di­tion in Al­berta.

The trou­ble be­gan in late 2016 when there were two pub­lic com­plaints that the plate’s mes­sage was of­fen­sive to women. The Nova Sco­tia Regis­trar of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles agreed and can­celled the plate, which had been 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. Grab­her said he put the fam­ily name on the li­cence plate decades ago as a gift for his fa­ther’s birth­day. Grab­her is seek­ing jus­tice in Nova Sco­tia’s Supreme Court.

Lorne Grab­her doesn’t want an apol­ogy. He just wants his li­cence plate.

Though Nova Sco­tia would be well ad­vised to give him both.


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