Toronto Council in flagrant violation of its own procedural rules; Taxi industry takes legal action

(May 5) – Toronto, Ontario – Toronto City Council had no legal authority to open and propose motions to the Taxi Industry Reform staff report as it did on February 19th, 2014,” said Jim Bell, spokesperson for the Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA).

“Every member of Toronto’s taxi industry would rather be serving customers than taking action against the City, and regrets that this is the completely unnecessary result of three years of review undertaken in good faith,” Bell said today.

The TTA filed a Notice of Application on April 23rd with Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice based upon the grounds that Toronto City Council is in breach of statutory and common-law duties of procedural fairness, natural justice and good faith.

“Under Council’s own procedural rules, all motions without notice must be in writing in a form the Clerk approves and be signed by the Councillor making the motion,” Bell noted. “The irresponsible free-for-all which took place on February 19th, during which Councillors proposed several motions which were nowhere in the staff report, was a travesty.

“Councillors McMahon, Minnan-Wong and Davis had no legal authority to propose the motions they did on February 19th.”

According to the TTA’s Notice of Application to Superior Court, “Not only were…motions procedurally improper and unfair in the manner in which they were passed but they were clearly contrary to the considered recommendations both of the committee and of the staff. The setting of crucially important dates for the implementation of the TTL regime were plucked out of the air andwere based on nothing more than the whim of Council.”

Despite three years of consultation in which the industry participated in good faith, and a January Licensing and Standards meeting which resulted in a compromise which was acceptable to everyone, City Councillors illegally proposed numerous arbitrary and impossible motions to the detriment of both the taxi industry and the taxi using public.

“These proposed motions will put drivers out of work, reduce service, increase fares, and destroy the lifetime investment of 2400 Standard taxi licence owners and their families,” Bell said. “The entire taxi industry and the taxi riding public will all suffer greatly if these illegal, arbitrary motions are allowed to stand.

"Given the potential for the TTA’s success in court, we are strongly urging Council to delay implementation until the courts have decided on our case. Harm will be done to plate owners who convert to TTL if the TTL provisions are struck down.  Any TTL plate holders may have no legal standing and be unable to provide taxi service in Toronto."

“Just as Toronto is working to repair its international reputation among business investors, it sends a loud, clear signal to business people everywhere - Don’t invest in Toronto. City Council can and will backtrack on commitments to business owners.”





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