Towing companies located within boundaries of First Nation could not claim protection under s. 89 of Indian Act

Ontario civil | Aboriginal Law | Debtors and creditors | Property exempt from seizure

Certain vehicles owned by Ontario residents and insured by insurer were involved in accidents or stolen. After accidents or thefts, ownership transferred to insurer. Vehicles were towed and stored by towing companies owned by First Nation. All towing companies were locating within boundaries of First Nation. Dispute arose regarding towing and storage fees. Insurer brought application under Repair and Storage Liens Act and towing companies unsuccessfully brought application for declaration that ss. 23 and 24 of Act were not available to insurer as vehicles were exempt under s. 89 of Indian Act. Towing companies appealed. Appeal dismissed. Insurer was not debtor nor creditor and it followed that towing companies could not claim protection of s. 89. Section 89 of Indian Act only protected against seizure from creditors or Crown.

Taylor’s Towing v. Intact Insurance Company (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 19778, 2017 ONCA 992, C.W. Hourigan J.A., David Brown J.A., and Himel J. (ad hoc) (Ont. C.A.).

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