Lorne Grabher’s family has had the same personalized license plate for three generations, first purchased for his father’s 65th birthday. When his father passed away in 1991, the plate went to Lorne’s son Troy, who in turn passed it to his father three years later (with all paperwork approved by the province). Troy now has the same personalized license plate in Alberta.
The plate reads ‘Grabher’, the family name, of German ancestry.
Last December, Grabher received a letter from the province stating that they’d received a complaint about the plate, and that it would be canceled in January 2017.
Grabher remembers a woman taking a picture of his license in a Tim Horton’s parking lot, but didn’t think anything of it. Now he realizes that this may have been significant. His letter from the registar of motor vehicles reads in part “Please be advised that the Office of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles has received a complaint about your personalized plate GRABHER. While I recognize this plate was issued as your last name, the public cannot be expected to know this and can misinterpret it as a socially unacceptable slogan.”
Grabher believes the issue lies with the rise of Donald Trump and his widely publicized phrase ‘grab ’em by the ___’. He argues that despite anything implied by such misogynistic phrases, his name has nothing to do with any of that.
Grabher has complained by telephone and by letter to the Motor Vehicle branch, with no luck. He’s also contacted the Ombudsman and Human Rights Commission, and his MLA, all to no avail.
Read more here.