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All is Vanity: Trekkie takes MPI to court over custom plates

By CRM staff

Toronto, Ontario — December 19, 2018 — Manitoba Public Insurance is engaged in a court battle with a Star Trek enthusiast whose vanity plate was recalled by the insurer.

After two years on the road, Nick Troller’s ASIMIL8 lisence plates were recalled following complaints that they were insensitive because of Canada’s historic efforts to assimilate indigeonous people. In response, Troller hired lawyers and filed paperwork to have provincial courts reverse MPI’s decision.

Troller’s plates are not, however, intended as anything more than a Star Trek reference. “You will be assimilated,” is a catchphrase of the Borg, cybernetically enhanced and hive-minded people who forcibly conscript – or, as they call it, assimilate – unwilling outsiders. More cathphrases were included on decalls above and below the plates, which read: “We are the Borg,” and “Resistance is Futile.”

Troller’s fight against a governmental organization intent on replacing his chosen plates with a procedurally generated alphanumeric code has captured the attention of newspapers around the world. It is not, however, the first Canadian vanity plate-related story to capture international attention. Last January, Lori Grabher’s 25-year-old license plates — GRABHER — were pulled after being deemed offensive.

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