A young man from Surrey is being denied his driver’s license because of his religious beliefs that include the wearing of a plastic colander on his head.
Obi Canuel is a devout member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and identifies as a practicing Pastafarian. In November of 2013, he attempted to have his driver’s photo taken while wearing his religious headgear. ICBC denied him an identity card but issued him a temporary license.
Since his first attempt at receiving a proper license, Canuel has returned to his local ICBC branch, only to be issued additional temporary slips. But on October 3rd of this year, Canuel’s luck and ICBC’s patience ran out. The corporation governing driver identification gave him a one-day license and claimed that he could not apply again until he conformed with the proper photo requirements (bare-headed).
ICBC currently allows citizens of the province who belong to religions with certain headgear policies to retain their coverings for their ID photographs. When asked about the policy, ICBC spokesperson Adam Grossman stated that the insurance corporation only permits individuals to wear head coverings if their religion prohibits their removal. “Mr. Canuel,” claims Grossman, “could not provide us with any proof that his faith prohibits it.”
While, the case sounds unique, it is not the first time that a Pastafarian has been denied an ID photo. There have been numerous other battles around the world between members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and government identification boards. Currently there are four countries that permit the specific strainers to be worn. Oddly enough, one of these is the United States.
When asked about his next course of action, Canuel said that he would not be pursuing further legal action as to do so would only cost money and the time of the Canadian justice system.
Simmons Mattress Galley would like to formally welcome Canuel to their showroom. There are no formal rules regarding headgear for customers or staff. If you choose to wear a sacred colander to bed, that is your prerogative; although we can’t imagine it to be that comfortable.