MPI refuses to reinstate Star Trek-themed license plate

Owner of license plate might have to take the case to court

MPI refuses to reinstate Star Trek-themed license plate

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

In a statement released yesterday, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) confirmed that it will proceed with a court application against Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) after it refused to reinstate the personalized license plate of a Manitoba resident.

Nicholas Troller, a fan of the Star Trek TV series, applied and paid for the required fee to receive a license plate that said “ASIMIL8” in 2015. MPI had approved his application without objection or hesitation and issued the plate. When Troller installed the plate on his vehicle, he added a license plate border decorated with the words “We are the Borg” and “Resistance is futile,” referencing the fictional Borg in Star Trek and their iconic phrase.

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Troller had used the plate for two years without incident, with many passersby commenting positively on it – some even asked him if they could take pictures with it. MPI had renewed the plate in 2016 without question.

On April 27, 2017, however, Troller received a letter from MPI that informed him that the plate “is considered offensive,” without explaining why the plate was considered offensive, or by whom. MPI, through the letter, notified Troller that he had until May 01, 2017 to surrender his plate. The public insurer did not provide him any option to appeal the decision.

JCCF wrote to MPI on May 29, 2017 asking that it reinstate Troller’s plate. The letter calls out the insurer’s decision as “improper, unreasonable and capricious” and a violation of Troller’s Charter-protected right to freedom of expression.

MPI did not immediately respond to the JCCF’s demand until July 07, stating that it was “unable to reinstate the plate as requested.”

“It’s unfortunate that the Manitoba government is leaving Mr. Troller with no alternative but to assert his legal rights in court,” said JCCF president and lawyer John Carpay.

Related stories:
William Shatner facing paternity suit from insurance broker
What brokers can learn from Star Trek

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