407 ETR Supreme Court of Canada Decision – released

September 5, 2017

The long awaited 407 ETR Supreme Court decision has finally been released a summary of which is reported below.

The case is really one that hinges on the supremacy of Federal legislation over Provincial legislation.  It was first heard in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice with a decision favouring the position of the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy essentially stating that Federal legislation (the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act) trumps the Provincial Highway Traffic Act (“HTA”) and the Highway 407 Act.

The 407 ETR has relied on its ability to utilize the HTA or the Highway 407 Act to withhold license plate renewals in order to collect on debts that were otherwise discharged in a bankruptcy or proposal proceeding.  Although the Ontario Superior Court of Justice felt that the OSB’s position was correct and the case even survived the 407 ETR’s appeal to the Ontario Appeals Court.  Nonetheless, with much at stake, the 407 took the case to the Supreme Court of Canada for a final ruling.

The case was originally heard in the Supreme Court in January of 2015 and the decision released this morning, November 13, 2015, favours the position of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.  The 407 ETR cannot use the Highway 407 Act or the Highway Traffic act to collect debts that have been discharged in an insolvency proceeding.