Quebec taxi drivers take battle over Uber to court

CBC September 15, 2016

Members of a group that represents taxi drivers hold up copies of the injunction, filed on Thursday. (CBC)
Members of a group that represents taxi drivers hold up copies of the injunction, filed on Thursday. (CBC)

A group that represents many of the province's taxi drivers has filed an injunction against the government over its plan to allow Uber to operate in Quebec.

The group is asking the Quebec Superior Court to cancel the agreement, arguing Lessard has gone beyond the powers given to him in the National Assembly.

The injunction was filed on Thursday afternoon in Montreal. Dozens of taxi drivers were on hand, eventually driving away from the courthouse in a noisy procession.

"We're not going to let go until we win that fight," said the lawyer representing the group, Marc-Antoine Cloutier.

The injunction comes days after industry representatives met with Transport Minister Laurent Lessard, demanding he suspend the Uber deal. Lessard turned them down.

"Today, the taxi industry is united to defend and call for the respect of Quebec laws," wrote spokesmen Georges Tannous and Benoît Jugand in a statement.

The government and Uber reached an agreement last week for a pilot project that would allow the company to operate in this province for another year.

While the deal outlined a number of new rules for Uber and its drivers, including requiring the company to pay a per-ride fee to the government and making the drivers to obtain a Class 4C driver's licence, it did not include a requirement for drivers to hold a taxi permit.

Those permits, which taxi drivers need to work in Quebec and which were originally given out by the government for free, are now bought and sold for thousands of dollars.

In the aftermath of the deal, groups representing Quebec cab drivers said they felt betrayed and called for Uber to be outlawed.

A group which represents many Quebec taxi drivers has filed an injunction over the provincial government's plan to allow Uber to operate in Quebec. (Radio-Canada)
A group which represents many Quebec taxi drivers has filed an injunction over the provincial government's plan to allow Uber to operate in Quebec. (Radio-Canada)

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