‘Obviously inappropriate:’ Insurer exec shocked ASIMIL8 plate was ever issued

Nick Troller filed a legal challenge against MPI over its decision to revoke the personalized plate

Documents from a legal challenge by a “Star Trek” fan who had his personalized ASIMIL8 licence plate revoked show a Manitoba Public Insurance senior executive was shocked the plate was ever issued at a time when reconciliation with Indigenous people was coming to the forefront.

The email from vice-president Keith Ward to registrar of motor vehicles Carla Hocken on April 24, 2017, said approving the licence plate did not follow MPI procedures and required immediate action.

“We are considering serious disciplinary action for those who were involved and contributed to approving a plate that is so obviously inappropriate at a time when there was significant media coverage about the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, etc,” Ward wrote.

“This is a very serious lack of judgment for those who were involved in doing the research and/or approving the plate for issue.”

Nick Troller filed a legal challenge against MPI over its decision to revoke the personalized plate.

Troller is an avid fan of the “Star Trek” TV franchise and in 2015 got the plate which features a well-known saying by the alien race the Borg. He put the ASIMIL8 plate in a border that stated:, “We are the Borg” and “Resistance is futile.”

In a recently filed legal brief, Troller explained that he drove around with the plate for nearly two years and no one complained. He renewed it with MPI in 2016 without issue.

An Ontario woman posted a photo of the licence plate on Facebook on April 22, 2017. Court filings show a transcript of a call she made to MPI in which she said the plate was offensive because of the history of government assimilation policies.

Court documents show that after the complaint was made, there was a flurry of emails between MPI officials trying to understand how the licence plate was approved in the first place.

Plates are denied for a variety of reasons, including if they are offensive, suggestive, discriminatory or include racial or ethnic slang. Since they are the property of the Crown, they can be recalled at any time.

The ASIMIL8 plate was considered by a five-person committee, internet searches were done on its meaning and it was issued without any concerns.

In another email, Ward said, “the process here did not work.”

Troller was contacted and told his plate was deemed inappropriate and was being recalled. Troller is arguing MPI’s decision to revoke the plate is a violation of his charter-protected right to free expression.

MPI did not comment on the filings because the case is before the courts.

The documents include a 47-page list of licence plates that were denied by MPI. They include BITE ME, VINO, MMMBEER, SKODEN, HYZNBRG, HOLYCOW, PWALKER and 50 GREY.

A man in Nova Scotia has also gone to court over a personalized licence plate. Lorne Grabher has been trying to reinstate his “GRABHER” plate since it was revoked in 2016 by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles following an anonymous complaint.

Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

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

BC Lacrosse Association makes difficult decision to cancel minor lacrosse season

Impacted teams include both the Quesnel Thunder and the Williams Lake Bighorns

COVID-19 creates a massive protection risk: Women’s Contact Society

So far the Women’s Contact Society in Williams Lake has not seen… Continue reading

Indigenous teen goaltender part of nationwide documentary on community hockey

Hockey 24: A Film by Canada premiered on May 24, 2020

Williams Lake barbers, stylists, customers adjust to COVID-19 protocols

Barbers, hairstylists and their clients have been adjusting to new COVID-19 protocols… Continue reading

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read