“25-Year License Plate Legacy Sparks Debate Over Offensiveness”

In a protracted legal dispute, Lorne Grabher has been fighting to regain his personalized license plate that bore his family name, “GRABHER.” The controversy erupted after McGill University professor Carrie Rentschler asserted that the license plate conveyed support for sexual violence against women.

Since 2016, Grabher has been working to reclaim his personalized plate after it was revoked by The Registrar of Motor Vehicles. In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia awarded him $750 to cover the court costs he had incurred. This amount was in line with what Grabher had paid to the Crown during his previous legal battle over an affidavit.

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In the decision statement released on Thursday, Justice Pierre Muise expressed that the cost award “will do justice between the parties.”

Representing Grabher, his lawyer Jay Cameron vigorously contested the Crown’s report, which linked the license plate “GRABHER” to derogatory comments made by then-President Donald Trump about women. Professor Rentschler, an expert in communications and gender studies, had drawn parallels to Trump’s controversial statements during his 2005 presidential campaign when he boasted about his ability to inappropriately touch women.

Cameron argued that the report did not categorically state that “GRABHER” was a name but rather suggested it was a reference to Trump’s comments.

In February, Cameron emphasized, “There is zero evidence in this case that refers to Donald Trump, with the exception of this report.”

He further posed the question, “I think that the court should ask itself whether or not the freedom of expression of Canadians is influenced in any way by comments by a foreign dignitary.”

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In the Crown’s defense, its lawyer, Alison Campbell, contended that “Dr. Rentschler’s report is not a salacious magazine. It is a review of academic literature on the ways in which gender violence is represented and reinforced in society.”

Lorne Grabher maintained that the license plate was a gift for his late father back in 1990 and was intended as a symbol of their Austrian-German heritage.

The legal battle over the controversial license plate will continue in early September, as Grabher perseveres in his quest to have his personalized plate reinstated.

Source: CBC News

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