Red Deer man refuses to remove Oilers cap for driver's licence photo
'I'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada,' says man who calls hockey his religion
A Red Deer, Alta., man says he's prepared to go all the way to the Supreme Court in his fight to wear his Edmonton Oilers cap in his driver's licence photo.
When Ken Egilsson recently went to renew his licence, he cleared up his fines and paid the renewal fee. But the problem began when the registry office prepared to take a new photo.
"I've refused in the past, but this time, I'm actually standing my ground."
Head coverings worn daily for religious and medical reasons are permitted in driver's licence photos, according to the province. Egilsson said his fight is about equality.
"We say all the time we have a separation between church and state in Canada," said Egilsson.
"So if we have a separation between church and state then you should not be allowed to use any religious or cultural beliefs to circumvent laws that we already have in place."
"If certain people or certain groups are allowed to cover their head, then I should be able to cover my head based on equality," he added.
According to Service Alberta, "head coverings worn for fashion, work, or even safety reasons need to be removed for a brief moment while a driver's licence or identification card photo is taken."
Hockey 'a religion'
Egilsson said he buys a new Edmonton Oilers hat at the beginning of every season. He wears it almost constantly, removing it only to shower and sleep. He'll also take it off for a funeral or when the national anthem plays.
"I would say hockey is a religion for lots of Canadian men and boys," Egilsson said.
"We're taught hockey from a very young age. I've personally been on skates since I was four years old. Hockey to me is my religion. I eat, sleep and breathe hockey. I coach a minor hockey league team. I'm on the ice three to four times a week."
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Response from Egilsson's friends has been mixed, said the 33-year-old.
"The guys that I know that wear hats support me," he said. "The guys that don't wear hats go, 'What does it really matter?'"
Egilsson said he's not prepared to give up driving over the issue, and that if he gets pulled over, he has proof that he renewed his licence.
"I'm willing to go as high as I can go," said Egilsson.
"I'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada."
With files from Alberta@Noon