FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW LAWS THREATEN WIDOWS’ FINANCIAL SECURITY
(TORONTO, Ontario – June 24, 2014) – Owners of Standard taxi plates today announced that they are seeking an injunction to stop the City of Toronto from imposing a new taxi licensing regime, which will come into effect on July 1.
Arguments on the injunction are scheduled to be heard in Ontario Superior Court at 361 University Avenue on June 25.
“These changes will destroy the lifetime investment of hundreds of cab drivers and their families and will hurt vulnerable people,” said Judi Barr, the wife of a Standard taxi plate owner/driver for 35 years.
“For so many of us, the Standard taxi plate is our pension plan. For others, it’s how they support themselves and their loved ones.”
On hand to announce the legal action were a number of widows and dependents of lifelong cab drivers who rely on the income from the Standard taxi plates to survive.
“My late husband Leo drove a cab for 40 years. He saved up so he could buy his two Standard taxi plates and he always said the plates would look after us in our old age. Leo’s been gone for 23 years and I count on those plates to keep me in my home. I don’t know what I’ll do if these new rules take effect,” said 83-year-old Doris Kostyk.
View video here.
“The Standard taxi plate is how I support my four children. We are still struggling after my husband’s death and to have this taken away from us would be devastating. I don’t know how we will survive,” said Nusrat Raana, whose husband Mahmood Bhatti was murdered behind the wheel of his cab in 2006.
View video here.
After three years of negotiations with the taxi industry, Toronto City Council ignored the recommendations of its own Licensing and Standards Committee and passed motions in February to overhaul the taxi licensing regime. The changes to the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545 were approved by Council on June 13 and are scheduled to come into effect on July 1.
Among other changes, the new regime would replace the Standard taxi plate with a Toronto Taxicab License (TTL). TTL owners must operate the cab themselves and cannot lease them out and generate income the way Standard plate owners can under the current rules. Further, the restrictions and conditions associated with the TTL will severely dilute the value of the Standard taxi plate.
Toronto Taxi Alliance
About the Toronto Taxi Alliance
The Toronto Taxi Alliance represents the vast majority of owners, drivers, brokerages, fleets, agents, and Ambassador permit holders. The member brokerages of the TTA represent more than 4,000 of the 4,800 taxis on the road.