Taken from the The Daily Herald Tribune - Grande Prairie April 23/07

Lawsuit launched over colours

Mayor, alderman, city, pub owner, RCMP named The City of Grande Prairie, the RCMP and three individuals including the mayor, are facing a lawsuit in connection with the city's gang colours policy.

Last April, the city approved a voluntary program to give businesses support if they want to refuse access to anyone wearing gang colours or gang clothing. Along with the city and RCMP, the individuals who have been mentioned in the lawsuit are Mayor Wayne Ayling, Ald. Dwight Logan, and Charles Rodgers, owner of the Crown and Anchor Pub.

According to the court's statement of claim, the five plaintiffs are identified as Warren Vavrek, Jamie Ryan, Jamie Morgan, Ian Wallace and Earnest Dumont.

The statement of claim also mentions comments made by the individuals facing the lawsuit in a newspaper article last year in April. All of the individuals facing the lawsuit were quoted in the article.

"I don't believe that there are any particular grounds for a suit. It's a legal matter, and the city's insurance lawyers will be handling it," said Logan.

Ayling said those named in the lawsuit have been advised by their lawyers to not comment further.

Under the No Gang Colours, No Gang Clothing program, there is not a specific city bylaw that would prohibit the wearing of gang colours in commercial businesses.
Instead, the city lends its support to any business that wants to participate.

Window decals and signs were distributed to participating businesses for free to display.
Similar to the "No shirt, no shoes, no service" policy undertaken by many businesses, the signs would warn "No gang colours, no gang clothing."

At the time, the No Gang Colours, No Gang Clothing program was approved the city believed that if the policy faced any legal challenges it would be able to withstand any lawsuits as it is enshrined in the constitution that any property owner can expel any person for any reason.

"It's about people who profess to follow a criminal lifestyle and basically saying that we don't want you to advertise that you are professing to follow a criminal lifestyle on city property," said Ayling.

"This is about a city policy for city policy, it doesn't profess to do anything on non-city property."

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