By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba Liberal Party has been told to stop selling merchandise with a “W” logo because the letter looks similar to that used by the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The club recently told the party in writing that it was using the “W” trademark on items such as tuques without permission.
“The (Winnipeg Football Club) supports and encourages a free and democratic process. The WFC does not and would not support one political party to the exclusion of others,” Darren Cameron, director of communications, wrote in an email Monday.
Liberal party headquarters did not respond to a request for comment.
The Liberals are running a former Blue Bombers player whose name starts with W — Willard Reaves — in a byelection March 22.
Items sold in the party’s now-defunct online store were tuques in three different colours with a large W on the front similar to the football team’s stylized letter.
Reaves has also used blue and gold colours — similar to team colours — in some of his online and print graphics.
It’s the second time this year the Liberals have run into trouble over their merchandise.
They pulled down their online store after selling a red dress with a message written across the backside and hips that said “overthrow the government.”
The Liberals apologized and said the dress was posted by an unnamed volunteer without authorization.
The Liberals, who hold three of the legislature’s 57 seats, are not the only party running a former Blue Bomber in the byelection.
The Progressive Conservatives are putting up Obby Khan, who established a chain of restaurants after retiring from football in 2012. Trudy Schroeder, a former executive director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, is running for the New Democrats.
The Green party candidate is Nicolas Geddert. There is also an Independent candidate, Patrick Allard.
The byelection was called to fill the Fort Whyte seat in Winnipeg, which was held by former premier Brian Pallister before he retired last fall.