(Black Press files)

Man gives up ASIMIL8 licence plate, compares government to Star Trek’s Borg

Troller says he is being assimilated by the government bureaucracy, losing his freedom of expression

A “Star Trek” fan who had to give up a personalized licence plate says the Manitoba government is acting like a villain on the science fiction series.

Nick Troller is heading to court next month to try to regain his licence plate that bears the message “ASIMIL8.”

It was confiscated in April by the Crown-owned Manitoba Public Insurance after two Indigenous people complained the word “assimilate” is offensive because of the long history of government assimilation policies.

But Troller says his plate refers to the catchphrase “you will be assimilated’” that is used on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” by aliens called the Borg, who absorb their enemies into a hive-like collective.

RELATED: Stars and Star Trek

In an affidavit, Troller says he is being assimilated by the government bureaucracy and losing his freedom of expression.

“The irony of the rescission of my freedom of expression is not lost on me: I have been assimilated by the bureaucratic machine. The individualized expression on the plate has been subsumed and erased,” Troller’s affidavit reads.

“Like the Borg, MPI is vastly more powerful than I. And like the Borg, it feels no need to explain itself to the people in its path when it suddenly reverses course.”

In his affidavit, Troller says his licence plate was clearly tied to the “Star Trek” series. It was in a frame that contained other phrases from the Borg including “Resistance is futile” and “We are the Borg.”

Manitoba Public Insurance has not yet filed a response to the legal action, but has previously said that it retains the right to recall plates that might be considered offensive.

“The corporation’s position in this matter was clearly stated in the letter to the customer. With legal proceedings impending, Manitoba Public Insurance respectfully has no further comment to provide,” spokesperson Brian Smiley wrote in an email Monday.

According to MPI’s policy, licence plates can’t contain words, phrases or innuendoes that “may be considered offensive.” Even after they are issued, the plates can be recalled since they are the property of the Crown.

Troller’s case is similar to a legal battle over a personalized licence plate in Nova Scotia.

Lorne Grabher had his plate with the text “GRABHER” his last name, revoked after it was deemed offensive to women.

RELATED: Debate over ‘GRABHER’ licence plate could be headed to court

Both Grabher and Troller are being supported in their court cases by the Calgary-based non-profit Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

In its court application, Troller’s lawyer says the revocation of the licence plate contravenes the freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

An initial court hearing on the matter is scheduled for Aug. 16.

Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Twain Sullivan donates 0ver $900 to the food bank

At the Twain Sullivan Elementary School Christmas concert on Dec. 21, 2017… Continue reading

A tragic Christmas Eve in Burns Lake

Fire destroys Babine Lake Resort’s main lodge; community comes together

End is near for MSP premiums in B.C.

Premiums reduced by half for all British Columbians

Gallery: St. Anthony gives to soup kitchen and food bank

St. Anthony’s Parish final silent auction this year, plus their new fundraiser,… Continue reading

Benjamin and Olivia top baby names in B.C. in 2017

First northern baby of 2018 born in Dawson Creek

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Most Read