Superintendent of Bankruptcy’s Intervention Moore vs. 407 ETR Judgement Reserved


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This article can be found in the Toronto Caribbean Newspaper on page 15.

In the Moore vs. 407 ETR case, that took place last fall, Justice Francis Newbould ruled that a motor vehicle license is not an asset belonging to a debtor or anyone else. It is a privilege granted by a government authority and is not affected by bankruptcy. We have been using this ruling to tell MTO that they are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the Plate Denial process as we were told that whoever owns the plate owns the 407 ETR charges. Therefore, if the plate doesn’t belong to us as Justice Newbould asserted, it was our opinion that MTO was in the driver’s seat when it came to the Plate Denial provision. MTO has been stubborn in recognizing this point.

This decision in the lower courts forced the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to intervene to protect the National interest in the Bankruptcy Insolvency Act. True to the 407 ETR’s arrogance, not only was the Superintendent’s Office not notified about the decision, by the time the Superintendent of Bankruptcy’s Office found out about the decision at 9 AM on a Friday morning, they had their motion to intervene filed by 11 AM and by 4:30 PM the same day, lawyers for the 407 ETR struck a deal with Moore, for an undisclosed amount of money and gave him his “privilege” of licensing his vehicle back.

On May 16th, 2012, three Appeal Judges heard the 407 ETR’s submissions to squash the Superintendent of Bankruptcy’s motion to intervene in the Moore vs. 407 ETR’s decision. The Superintendent’s Office brought out that there is confusion in the lower courts. This is a tactic the 407 ETR uses all the time. The 407 ETR counts on the confusion so that they can continue to swindle people. It is our hope this is about to change and that the Appeal Judges will rule in favor to allow the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to intervene.

People claim Bankruptcy for a number of reasons. The BIA is balanced because it also provides for abuses of this provision. To put things in a very simple light, when a person claims Bankruptcy, creditors can file to have the person’s assets distributed among them. The 407 ETR is so arrogant that, not only do they NOT file to make a claim against the person claiming Bankruptcy, but also they completely ignore this Federal provision because they know they can still extort the money out of people because MTO will not recognize that the person no longer has a debt to the 407 ETR. We brought letters into MTO as proof that the debt no longer existed and MTO ignored that and kept the people in “Plate Denial”.

In some cases, the 407 ETR has forced people, that would not other wise have ever claimed Bankruptcy, into their financial problem to begin with because they suppress invoices and then charge high interest and fees without even demonstrating that a toll charge occurred. The MTO believe that they can absolve themselves of any responsibility because of a Provincial Agreement. We hope that will change very soon too. MTO is accountable because they are the ones denying the plate. We should all be concerned with this.

There is more to this story than meets the eye. The 407 ETR likes to say that they can’t stop people from driving on their highway as a reason for them to be able to have this power they abuse. We have been saying that if the 407 ETR can’t bill their customers correctly, fairly and honestly then they can put up manned tollbooths so these issues no longer exist. We hope more people join us in our continued fight against these injustices.

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