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Alberta registrar reverses rejection, man gets to have FREE AB licence plate

Last Updated Jun 4, 2020 at 3:38 pm EDT

CALGARY — A Calgary man has won a battle to get a FREE AB licence plate.

The Alberta Registrar of Motor Vehicles had denied an application by Tomas Manasek in December for the personalized plate.

A rejection letter said the plate did not fit within the department’s guidelines.

Manasek, an Alberta Independence Party candidate in last year’s provincial election, fought the ruling with help from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

James Kitchen, a lawyer with the group, says the registrar has since reversed its decision.

He says the reversal shows that in a free province like Alberta, FREE AB belongs on a licence plate.

“This is a pretty innocuous expression. Free expression is on this guys side,” he said Thursday.

Kitchen previously lost a court challenge against Manitoba Public Insurance, which had revoked the ASIMIL8 plate of an avid “Star Trek” fan because of a complaint that it was offensive to Indigenous people.

The Justice Centre won the case of an Indigenous man in Manitoba to get his NDN CAR plate returned.

It is currently representing a Nova Scotia man named Lorne Grabher, whose GRABHER plate was revoked, in a case before the province’s Appeal court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2020

The Canadian Press