‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of legendary Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

The RCMP say they “stand corrected” and Cranbrook business Jimmy’s Cannabis will not have to remove an image of legendary lawman Sam Steele displayed in one of their windows after all, after the RCMP consulted further with their historian, who informed them he is not wearing an RCMP uniform in the image.

BACKGROUND: RCMP asks new cannabis shop to remove image of Sam Steele

It’s been a high-profile week for Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop considering the store just opened its doors last Wednesday, with news that the store had been asked by the RCMP to take the photo of Sam Steele down due to copyright infringement making headlines nation wide.

Cannabis stores are mandated to have opaque window coverings to prevent onlookers from seeing in and owner Jeff Weaver opted to go with historical images for his stores instead of “uninviting” glazed glass or something along those lines.

Weaver originally agreed to take the photo down in the verbal conversation with a local officer, but after consulting a historian, he learned that the image of Steele he chose shows him wearing not a RCMP uniform but a military one.

“We are elated,” Weaver told the Townsman. “This is fantastic news that we are not impinging upon any trademark issues with the RCMP and we hope that Sam Steele the man will be the thing that’s celebrated from here on out.”

Today Cpl. Caroline Duval from RCMP media relations in Ottawa provided a statement confirming that Steele is in fact wearing a military uniform depicted on the window.

“The RCMP stands corrected on the statement that Sam Steele is wearing the uniform of the North West Mounted Police in the image used by the cannabis store. We had further discussions with our historian, who informed and corrected us on:

Superintendent Samuel Benfield Steele, Reg. No. 1 (O.40) was struck off the strength of the North-West Mounted Police on January 3, 1903.

The photograph of Sam Steele, from which the disputed image is derived, is from the portrait published in the frontispiece of Sam Steele’s autobiography “Forty Years in Canada” written in 1914 but due the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, was not published until 1915.”

The RCMP statement explains that in 1914, Colonel Steele was the Officer in Command of Military District 10 in Winnipeg, MB. In the photo Weaver picked for his store Steele is wearing the uniform of a full Colonel in the Canadian Militia.

In the statement Duval said that the RCMP wishes to remind the public that “notwithstanding the correction and honest mistake, the name and image of the RCMP are protected under the intellectual property laws of Canada and requires prior authorization before any business or enterprise can use it.

Meaning that if Steele was depicted in RCMP regalia in the photo, Weaver would have had to officially request permission to use it, and had the request been denied, he would have had to remove it.



paul.rodgers@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Potential designs for 85 Station St. were presented last month to the City of Duncan by the Portland-based architecture and planning firm Communitecture. (Courtesy of Communitecture)
City of Duncan considers applying for grant for Station Street project

New provincial program offers grants of up to $1 million

The bus is free to ride on Oct. 24 so voters can get to the polls to cast their ballots in the provincial election. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Free transit on Election Day in Cowichan

all day and on all regular routes

Painters Jim Tulip, Doug Mackenzie and Gary Henslowe were painting the exterior of the Duncan Butcher Shop and Apple Press printing shop, located between the Trans Canada Highway and Whistler Street, on Oct. 8 as part of neighbourhood painting project. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan’s Whistler Street sees a fresh lick of paint in opioid battle

Group wants to help clean up community, one street at a time

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, left, joined Rob Douglas, right, NDP candidate for the Cowichan Valley in the upcoming provincial election, on a tour to meet people in Lake Cowichan on Oct. 16 and discuss local issues. (Robert Barron/Citizen) Douglas’s campaign continued to pull out all the stops with a visit on Sunday from Premier John Horgan for some spearfishing in Duncan. (Submitted)
Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits Lake Cowichan

Rob Douglas, NDP’s candidate for Cowichan Valley, joins him

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks RCMP recommend criminal charges after weekend party

Homeowner Brody Peterson said he’ll dispute tickets for refusing police instructions, alleged COVID violations

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast a ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in rainbow flag fight cost B.C. city $62,000

“Lengthy and involved” process provoked by complaint

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

Most Read