Action Comes After Mayor John Tory Delays Injunction Request
TORONTO (March 14, 2016) – An application for an injunction was filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by a City of Toronto taxpayer, who is also a taxicab driver. The applicant is seeking an order restraining and preventing all UberX drivers from continuing to provide taxicab services for UberX in Toronto.
The legal basis for the injunction is that under the City of Toronto Act, a taxpayer may bring an application to the Court seeking an order restraining someone from conducting activities that contravene Toronto’s bylaws.
A similar process was followed in Calgary where the injunction was granted.
In October 2015, Toronto’s bylaws were amended and clearly state that only someone licensed as a taxicab driver may operate a taxicab in Toronto. Under the recently amended bylaw, UberX drivers are considered taxicab drivers, but do not have the license required to legally operate a taxicab in Toronto as required by the bylaw. The law prohibits:
- Drivers from driving passenger motor vehicles for hire in Toronto unless they are licensed by the City as a taxicab or limousine driver;
- Drivers from driving passenger motor vehicles for hire in Toronto unless the owner of the vehicle is licensed by the City as a taxicab or limousine owner; and
- Owners of vehicles from allowing people to drive their vehicles for hire in Toronto unless the driver is licensed by the City as a taxicab or limousine driver
Sutts, Strosberg LLP represents the Applicant.
“Toronto’s bylaws are very clear: only someone licensed as a taxicab driver may operate a vehicle for hire in the City,” said Jay Strosberg, co-Managing Partner, Sutts, Strosberg LLP. “The bylaw was specifically changed to capture this conduct, yet Mayor Tory has decided to ignore Toronto’s own bylaw. Why bother changing the law unless you are going to enforce it?”
Mr. Strosberg is “baffled” by the City’s decision to permit UberX to continue to operate as a taxi service without proper licensing and oversight.
“Taxi drivers, as taxpayers, have no choice but to file this injunction because Mayor Tory will not,” said Mr. Strosberg. “The fact that this is a recent amendment makes it all the more egregious. The enforcement of law should not be a matter of politics. Mayor Tory is sending the message that lawlessness is acceptable.”
For the purposes of consumer protection, the City’s licensing protocol contained in Municipal Code Chapter 545-1, Licensing requires that, among other things:
- taxicab and limousine drivers complete a training course;
- vehicles used as taxicabs or limousines pass mechanical inspection and be equipped with certain safety equipment;
- vehicle owners have comprehensive insurance policies (with minimum coverage of $2,000,000) and have deposited a copy of their certificates of insurance with the City; and
- the fares or rates charged for taxicab or limousine rides are in accordance with a fee schedule established by the City
The application and injunction therefore seeks an order declaring that all UberX drivers in Toronto are breaching the bylaw and also ordering that UberX drivers be prevented from continuing to operate without the required licenses.
Media Contact for Jay Strosberg, Sutts Strosberg LLP
Aerial Communications Group
Backgrounder: Why is a taxpayer bringing this injunction request?