The "Grabher" family is proud of their name.
But Lorne Grabher, a retired corrections officer who lives in Dartmouth Nova, Scotia, is pissed off that the province has confiscated his personalized licence plate featuring his last name because someone complained that it was offensive.
He told the Chronicle Herald he'd been out for Tim Hortons in December when he noticed a woman snapping a photo of his GRABHER plate. He didn't think much of it, but on December 6, he received a letter from the director of road safety and registrar of motor vehicles saying his plate was being cancelled.
"The reason stated was 'can misinterpret it as a socially unacceptable slogan'," Grabher wrote in a rant on Facebook.
"I feel this is a total abuse of power by Ms. Director of Road Safety! Where does it state that my last name is considered a 'slogan' in the Motor Vehicle Act?"
Grabher, who is of German heritage, said the plate has been in his family for 25 years without issue. He also noted that his son Troy Grabher in Alberta has a GRABHER plate and hasn't had any problems with it.
"To me this seems that only in Nova Scotia can your last name be discriminated against!" he said on Facebook.
Grabher told the Chronicle Herald he reached out to Nova Scotia's motor vehicle branch, noting that in Newfoundland there are places called "Come by Chance" and "Dildo" but was told "you're in Nova Scotia, go by our rules."
In an email to the CBC, a spokesman from the department of transportation said a complaint was filed indicating that some see GRABHER "as misogynistic and promoting violence against women."
Grabher said he bought the plate as a present for his dad, who died in 1991. It was then passed onto Grabher's son Troy, who gave it to Grabher when he moved to Alberta.
On Facebook, the incident has sparked a heated discussion amongst the Grabhers. Lorne's son Troy Grabher defiantly updated his cover photo to show two GRABHER plates side by side, while Tracey Grabher wrote, "I've never had anyone impose a derogatory meaning towards my name before this a-hole complained to motor vehicles." She also joked, "I'm still looking for a Hiscock. Tracey Grabher-Hiscock has a nice ring to it."
For now, Lorne Grabher said he's using one of his son's GRABHER plates on the front of his car. But he's holding out hope the province will change its mind.
"I want my plate back. I don't want an apology, I don't want to talk to them, I just want my plate back."
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