Larry Levy, WWII vet & Standard Plate owner

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Larry Levy and his wife Betty attended the L&S Committee meeting on March 24th to ask Councillors to grandfather Toronto's Standard Taxi plate. You can view Larry's interview here. 

Larry fought with Canada in Holland in World War II and returned to start his own taxi business with multiple cars which he ran for half of a century. When he started his business, Toronto told plate owners that owning a plate was a business investment and that owners would be able to retire with the plates as their pension. In February 2014, Toronto reneged on this long-standing agreement, leaving lifetime taxi industry members like Larry Levy out in the cold.

"I love this country and the people in it. I'm just asking Canada to do the same thing for me I did for Canada: fight for me," Levy says.

 

 

Councillor DiGiorgio sponsors motion to grandfather the Standard Plate at L&S Committee

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Larry Levy, 90-year-old World War 2 vet attended the March 24 Licensing and Standards meeting with his wife Betty. They were among the first speakers and did an excellent job of illustrating the point that devaluing the Standard Plate has unfairly harmed many life-long taxi industry members. Levy once ran 7 plates, and currently owns two.

At the March 24th meeting of the Licensing and Standards Committee, Councillor Frank DiGiorgio proposed the following motion, which passed unanimously:

"L+S Committee directs the Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards to bring forward to the Licensing and Standards Committee the necessary bylaw amendments to reinstate the Standard Taxicab regulations that were in effect prior to February 19, 2014, and to provide a report to the Committee at its meeting on April 21, 2015.”

The full agenda and minutes of the meeting are available here.

The report requested of staff is scheduled to come back to L&S Committee on April 21st. Interested parties will have a chance to make deputations to Committee again on April 21st at 10am. To have your name included on the list of deputants, you can call 416-397-4592 or email lsc@toronto.ca

The report would then go on to Toronto City Council May 5,6,7.

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Asafo Addai who represents Ambassador Drivers on the TTA Executive Committee told L&S Committee members that he believes the Standard Plate should be grandfathered, "as a matter of fairness." Addai's institutional memory of how the Ambassador Plate was created was very helpful to the Committee, and he was able to answer all of their questions.

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TTA Executive Committee member Sam Moini and his father Hussein spoke to L&S Committee member to ensure Councillors have the fleet perspective before they make any decisions. "The Fleets are the backbone of the industry," Sam pointed out. "The reason Toronto residents can access cabs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is because the Fleet garages make sure the cabs are running. Moving to an unknown business model with the Toronto Taxi License will kill the fleets on which Toronto depends."