Ken Egilsson

Ken Egilsson

‘My religion is sport’: Red Deer man refuses to remove cap for driver’s licence photo

It’s almost impossible to separate Ken Egilsson from his Edmonton Oilers ball cap.

It’s almost impossible to separate Ken Egilsson from his Edmonton Oilers ball cap.

From the minute he gets out of the shower each morning, the Red Deer man puts the cap on, and wears it every day, all day long — unless he’s going to a funeral.

So when he went to renew his driver’s licence last week, Egilsson took more exception than usual when asked to remove his hat for the required photo. Egilsson, 33, refused.

“I find it discriminatory that you’re allowed to wear, for any religious beliefs, you’re allowed to wear a head covering. And for the general public, we’re not allowed to cover our hair. There should be no difference.”

“I just don’t see what the difference is of somebody wearing a ball cap or somebody wearing a turban or some sort of a head dress for religious matters. My religion is sport,” said Egilsson, who owns a local company that services the oil industry.

“We live in a free country. If other people are allowed to freely express their religion or whatever they believe in, and that includes head dressings, then that’s fine. They should be allowed to cover their hair in the picture.

“On the same token, it shouldn’t matter that I’m religious or not. That has no bearing on the fact that if they’re allowed to cover their head in a photo, I should be allowed to cover my hair for a photo. … It should be fair on both sides,” Egilsson said.

He argues that the ball cap does not conceal his face, and if he were to be stopped by police, he’s more recognizable with the ball cap on because he always wears it.

Egilsson, who has been researching the matter the past week, noted that a few members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have fought for and been allowed to wear colanders on their heads for their driver’s licence photos. The handful of instances have occurred in one U.S. state and Australia.

A B.C. man tried it last year but was unsuccessful. Some view the church as somewhat quirky.

“They wear colanders on their head, and that’s fine. … We live in a free society,” a totally serious Egilsson said.

“There’s no ban on ball caps. Like the Canadian government hasn’t said everybody in the country is not allowed to wear ball caps. So if ball caps are accepted in our society, then I should be able to get my photo taken with my ball cap on,” Egilsson said.

“I feel that I look better with my hat on than with my hat off. I feel that I look probably 10 times better with a hat on, then a hat off.”

Egilsson wondered what happens when women change the colour of their hair. “Shouldn’t they have to go in and get their driver’s licence picture retaken?”

It was right after Egilsson had finished paying for his licence renewal and turned over his old driver’s licence on March 3 that he was told a new photo was required.

When he refused to remove his hat, he said he was told they could not process the renewal. In the end, he asked for and received his old licence back and returned the temporary one he had been issued. He has a receipt for the payment he made to renew the licence.

“I’ve just renewed my licence for five years so whether or not I’ve got a card that says it’s a valid date or not, the fact is, in the computer system, I’ve renewed my licence,” Egilsson said.

John Archer, a spokesman for Service Alberta, provided this written response on Wednesday.

“It’s important that holder of a driver’s licence or identification card can be easily recognized through his or her photo and signature on the card. These are essential parts of the security of the province’s driver’s licences and identification cards.

“Head coverings may be allowed to be worn in the photo for religious and medical reasons, only if they are worn daily for these purposes.

“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.”

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) falls on his knees as he skates around Ottawa Senators defenceman Artem Zub (2) during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Thursday, February 18, 2021. The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews when they take on the Edmonton Oilers Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto star Auston Matthews won’t play as Leafs face Oilers

EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Most Read