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Canadian Trek fan sues for right to keep Borg-themed vanity license plate

By James Comtois

Is resistance indeed futile? One Canada-based Star Trek fan is about to find out, as he’s suing for the right to have his recently revoked vanity license plate reinstated. 

Per various Canadian media outlets citing legal documents, Nick Troller had his custom plate "ASIMIL8" revoked. A Manitoba Public Insurance senior executive reportedly said in an email that the plate should never have been issued at a time when reconciliation with indigenous people was coming to the forefront. Troller contends that the plate has nothing to do with indigenous people and is in fact a reference to the Borg, a Federation enemy from Star Trek: The Next Generation. So, Troller is challenging the decision to revoke his customized license plate. 

"This is really, really serious and 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.," wrote Manitoba Public Insurance vice president Ward Keith in an email to registrar of motor vehicles Carla Hocken on April 24, 2017. 

Keith added in the email: "This is a very serious lack of judgment for those who were involved in doing the research and/or approving the plate for issue."

Troller, a Star Trek fan, has a photo of the plate on his Facebook page, showing the customized border around the plate saying the Borg’s other phrases “We are the Borg” and “resistance is futile.” 


In his legal challenge against MPI over its decision to revoke his personalized plate, Troller explained that he drove around with the plate for nearly two years without complaint and renewed it with MPI in 2016 without issue. 

But that changed when an Ontario woman posted a photo of the plate on Facebook in 2017 and called the MPI to complain that she found the plate was offensive due to the Canadian government’s history of assimilation policies.

A court date for the challenge has not yet been set. Until then, it’s probably best for any Doctor Who fans to hold off on getting that "EXTRMN8" plate. (Better yet, it may be best not to get that vanity plate altogether.)