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The Globe and Mail

Did Montreal cabbie go too far with his religious knick-knacks?

Arieh Perecowicz received six tickets for a total of $1,400 from the Bureau du taxi, a municipal agency whose inspectors ordered the cabbie to remove the items. ‘In 43 years, no one has said they were offended or opened the door to take another taxi,’ he says.

John Morstad/The Globe and Mail

What does your work space say about yourself? Perhaps you keep a desk-side photo of your sweetheart? A papier-mâché figurine that your six-year-old made in class? A miniature Canadian flag kept as a keepsake from last year's Olympics?

Or perhaps your work space offers no hints at all of your personal life?

When you spend the bulk of your waking hours at work, where do you draw the line between personal and professional space?

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A Montreal taxi driver lost his court battle to keep religious items and personal knick-knacks in his vehicle. A municipal court judge decided Arieh Perecowicz was guilty of violating city bylaws and fined him about $1,000.

Among the items Mr. Perecowicz kept in his cab were photos of his family, a Canadian flag, a Remembrance Day poppy, a Jewish prayer scroll, and other religious artifacts - mementos that he said helped make his cab, where he spent 15 hours a day, a cozier home away from home. After receiving multiple tickets from Montreal's Bureau du taxi, he took the matter to court, arguing the authorities were violating his Charter rights.

Under municipal regulations, cabs cannot carry any items unrelated to the operation of the taxi.

What personal items do you think are acceptable at your own place of work? Where's the limit?

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