Albertan fined $543 for ‘FUCK HARPER’ sign, plans Charter challenge
An Edmonton man is planning a charter challenge after police fined him $543 fine for displaying a “FUCK HARPER” sign on the back of his car.
“Yesterday, a Ponoka RCMP officer pulled me over and tried to extort me into removing my anti-Harper sign from my car and threatened me with a $543 ticket if I refused,” Rob Wells of Edmonton posted on his Facebook timeline. “I informed him that the matter of my signs had been thoroughly reviewed by police lawyers and crown prosecutors and it was not illegal.”
“I informed him that the matter of my signs had been thoroughly reviewed by police lawyers and crown prosecutors and it was not illegal,” Wells added. “When I refused to let him trample on my Charter rights, he gave me a ticket.”
Wells was cited for violating section 115(2)(e) of the Traffic Safety Act, which prohibits drivers from engaging “in any stunt or other activity that is likely to distract, startle or interfere with users of the highway.”
Wells claimed that he had been previously warned over “FUCK RALPH – NO PRIVATE HOSPITALS” bumper stickers.
According to Wells, Edmonton Police Service issued a service directive, dated October 31, 2000 after he filed a harassment complaint against the service over the incident, which read:
“Members have recently been involved in complaints where citizens have displayed political signs containing profanity on vehicles. Research conducted by the Legal Advisors’ Section determined that displaying such a sign does not constitute a violation of Stunting under the highway Traffic Act or an offence under the Criminal Code.”
Wells announced his intention to plead not guilty and mount a Charter challenge against the ticket.
“I’m pleading not guilty and giving notice that I intend to raise a Charter Challenge defence,and I’m requesting full disclosure,” Wells said. “They are going to have to spend a lot more than my $543 before the dust settles on this one.”