BY TAMMY FLORES
The Toronto Star posted an article on December 1st, 2009 that quoted both the 407 ETR and former Minister of Transportation, Jim Bradley, on the company’s enforcement powers.
The Toronto Star quoted, former Minister of Transportation, Jim Bradley, as saying, “Ontario motorists who use Highway 407 and forget to pay their bills can legally be hounded for fifteen years if they don’t pay up.” 407 ETR also said, “It has the permission to pursue motorists for unpaid balances and add annual interest of 26.82 per cent for up to fifteen years.”
Where did former Minister of Transportation, Jim Bradley get his information? Was he the one to illegally give the company permission to ignore consumer protection laws? There is nothing of the sort in the 407 Act that would indicate the company was given any special recognition in this regard. Justice Edwards in his November 2014 ruling in Superior Court said that the company was limited to two years; from the time they place someone in Plate Denial, to enforce collections. So where did former Minister of Transportation, Jim Bradley get his information from? Did he deliberately lie to the public because the Toronto Star was relentless in hounding the Province about the 407 ETR’s abusive, predatory billing practices? Did he think this would stop the questions? Who knows? We are here, six years later and are still questioning where he got this information.
And what about the company’s claim that it was given “permission” to pursue motorists for unpaid balances and add interest for up to fifteen years? Who gave them that “permission”? Where is it written?
Two weeks ago we learned that 407 ETR’s collection powers were limited to the Bankrupt Insolvency Act. The company chose to ignore the BIA for many years. This wrong was finally righted. In the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, if a person goes into a consumer proposal or claims bankruptcy, the company can no longer enforce collections by means of the Plate Denial provision.
It appears we will learn soon enough that the company’s enforcement powers are also limited to the Limitations Act and many other consumer protection legislation.
Torkin Manes is defending Ira Day in a court action whereby the company, 407 ETR, has tried to enforce collections after it was lawful to do so. That case will be before the Appellate Court soon.
We are patiently waiting for the outcome of this case as it is expected to affect at least five times as many consumers the Bankruptcy case affected. While we wait for the other shoe to drop in this saga, the question still remains. Did former Transportation Minister, Jim Bradley intentionally lie to the public? We encourage you to write your MPP and ask them this question.