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Segal’s Motor Vehicle and Impaired Driving Newsletter | Discharge from bankruptcy

Concessionaire can no longer enforce debts for toll highway usage once driver gets a discharge from bankruptcy



Segal’s Motor Vehicle and Impaired Driving Newsletter



By: Murray D. Segal



407 ETR Concession Co. v. Canada (Superintendent of Bankruptcy), 2015 SCC 52, 2015 CSC 52, 2015 CarswellOnt 17183, 2015 CarswellOnt 17184 (S.C.C.)

2. — Debtor and creditor; Debt collection; Failure to pay toll bills; Driver discharged bankrupt; No power of provincial Registrar to suspend licence; Federal paramountcy; Enforcement section inoperative to the extent that it is used to enforce a provable claim that has been discharged under s. 178(2) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act; 407 Act (Ont.), s. 22(4); Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Can.), s. 178(2). 407 ETR Concession Co. v. Canada (Superintendent of Bankruptcy), 2015 SCC 52, 2015 CSC 52, 2015 CarswellOnt 17183, 2015 CarswellOnt 17184 (S.C.C.): Ontario has a toll road. Under the 407 Act, relating to an open-access private highway, the concessionaire was empowered to enforce the payment of tolls. Under the Act, the concessionaire (ETR) may notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, who must refuse to issue or renew a permit until notified by the ETR that the debt and related fees and interest have been paid. The driver obtained a discharge from bankruptcy listing the ETR debt. The trier found no inconsistency. The Court of Appeal reversed the decision applying the doctrine of federal paramountcy. The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal. The provincial law conflicts with the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Section 22(4) is inoperative to the extent that it conflicts with the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

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