ETOBICOKE , Ontario, May 10 (UPI) -- A Canadian man said he is being "strong armed" by local government to remove his vanity license plate which has been deemed offensive.
Daniel D'Aloisio, 42, said he chose the vanity plate "VI6SIX" to honor his late father and their love for the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, but the Ministry of Transportation deemed its resemblance to the biblical "Mark of the Beast" to be inappropriate under the "Religion" criteria.
"Any combination that could be perceived by the general public as religious subject matter, messaging or meaning is not permitted," the letter sent to D'Aloisio states.
D'Aloisio states that the VI in his license plate is not meant to represent the number six, but rather short for "vie" the French word for life. The other two sixes are representative of the love he and his father shared for hockey, before he died of cancer when D'Aloisio was 19.
"'6' is from '76, I was two years old and Montreal won their cup, and 'six' being six Stanley Cups my dad and I celebrated together in his short life with me," he said.
The sixes also represent the jersey number of their favorite player of all time, Mario Lemieux, who survived cancer and wore number 66.
D'Aloisio said he's had the plate for more than 15 years without issue and people who questioned the meaning in the past had often come away touched by his story.
"I even got pulled over and a cop asked me about it, and I explained about Lemieux coming back from cancer and the Stanley Cups. He actually said, 'Oh, hey, that's a cool plate, man,'" he said.
Despite D'Aloisio's positive track record a Ministry of Government and Consumer Services spokesperson stated that only one complaint was required to investigate a vanity plate.
"Since license plates are the property of the Crown and are issued by the ministry, and they are constantly in the public eye, the ministry must avoid giving the impression that it is prepared to offend some people at the request of others," the letter sent to D'Aloisio stated.
The Ministry has offered work with D'Aloisio to create a new plate, but he said he'd prefer to keep the plate as a keepsake.
"I'm not a young punk trying to rebel. It's just a memorial," he said. "I don't want trouble. The plate is just something I worked hard on, so this has been disheartening."