Taxi industry to City, police: enforce the law

Media Release

 Enforce the Law: Taxi Industry to City, Police

July 2nd, 2015 (Toronto) – Members of Toronto’s taxi industry visited City Hall today to call upon officials to enforce the law regarding Uber, including UberX.

“We are tax-paying, law-abiding business owners and citizens,” points out Gail Souter, president of the Toronto Taxi Alliance.

“We are not asking for any new laws or regulations. We are simply asking officials to enforce the laws which already exist on the books. City by-law officers are not enforcing the by-laws; Toronto police are not enforcing the Highway Traffic Act. This week in France, the government took action to ensure its laws are obeyed by everyone. Why is Toronto not doing this?”

“As taxpayers, we do not think it is too much to ask that all levels of government enforce the laws which already exist, and by which the taxi industry abides. Today, we are calling upon the City, the police and the Province to do one thing: enforce the law.”

Taxi industry members have example after example of laws not being enforced, which gives Uber, including UberX, a distinct competitive advantage over licensed taxis.

“Last week, while one of our drivers was being ticketed by a by-law officer because his tariff card was hung over the wrong seat, an UberX driver pulled in ahead of him, picked up a fare and took off. The by-law officer did nothing. What is going on in Toronto?” Souter asks.

There have been media reports, particularly by CityTV, that police have been directed not to enforce the Highway Traffic Act with regard to UberX, and this has been confirmed to several taxi industry members by their police officer contacts, who have asked not to be named for fear of retribution.

“Enforce the law!” says Sajid Moghul, head of iTaxi Workers. “Our members obey the law or face tickets, citations, and unemployment. How can Toronto pick and choose the laws it wishes to enforce, and enforce them only in one part of the industry while ignoring others? This is unfair, unethical, anti-democratic and incredibly damaging to Toronto’s taxi industry. John Tory and Mark Saunders we call upon you to enforce the law.”

If Toronto and Ontario want to re-write the laws regarding carrying paying passengers, they should do so in order that everyone can be clear on what is legal and what is not, Moghul points out. “In the meantime, enforce the law.”