Lorne Grabher shows his withdrawn personalized licence plate. (ANDREW VAUGHAN / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Nova Scotia man Lorne Grabher has a problem with a personalized license plate he purchased 25 years ago. As you may have guessed from his last name, the plate is causing uproar after the province claimed the public "can misinterpret it as a socially unacceptable slogan."
The plate has been passed down through the family since Grabher’s father’s death and was on his car until he received a letter from the province last December stating that the plate was being cancelled. In correspondence with CBC News, a government spokesman said, "A complaint was received outlining how some individuals interpret [the name] as misogynistic and promoting violence against women." Not surprisingly, Grabher is considering legal action against the province, having been contacted by lawyer interested in pursuing the case.
The Grabher name has German origins and is common in parts of Austria, including Lustenau, near the Swiss border, according to CBC News. The mayor of the town, Kurt Fischer told the news outlet in a phone interview, "At first I didn't know if I should laugh or if it was a sad story, but actually it's an absurd story to me. I thought that it was political correctness reduced to absurdity."
Grabher has received worldwide support for his predicament, with calls and emails coming from Austria
, Russia, The United States and The United Kingdom. His story has also been featured on Fox News and news sites in India and the U.K. According to CBC News, the Nova Scotia government has refused requests for interviews on the plate uproar, referring to regulations on personalized plates.Oddly enough, Grabher’s son Troy has the same personalized plate, only in Alberta where he lives and affixed a sticker beside the plate that says “It’s My Last Name!”