Taxi drivers in Montreal refuse to pick up airport passengers to protest Uber

Montreal taxi and limousine drivers targeted the city's airport Wednesday as part of their protest against Uber, promising to increase pressure tactics if the company doesn't suspend operations.

See Full Article

Drivers descended on Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in the morning and refused to pick up passengers arriving in the city, leaving travellers stranded on the taxi platform.

The protest lasted a few hours and no flights were disrupted.

A spokesman for the cabbies, Benoit Jugand, said Uber is allowed to operate at the airport, even though the taxi industry has a $2.5-million contract with the agency that runs the facility.

"We have to send a message: Uber is not welcome in Quebec," Jugand told a news conference. "We have laws that are clear and we want them to be respected...The people who work in the taxi industry, mothers and fathers, are people who respect laws."

The airport authority later issued a statement to say Uber is not available at the airport.

California-based Uber is an app-based business that operates in 40 Canadian communities as well as around the world. It allows people to request rides over their phones and sets them up with drivers who use their personal vehicles. Getting an Uber ride is typically cheaper than taking a taxi.

Cabbies are concerned that Uber drivers have an unfair advantage because they're not subject to licensing and insurance rules.

The Quebec branch of the United Steelworkers union, which represents many Montreal cab drivers, wants to pressure the province into forcing Uber to stop operating during upcoming legislative hearings into the taxi industry.

The cabbies say they will stop their protests if Uber suspends its operations during the commission's work.

On Wednesday, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre called for a "truce" between the taxi industry and Uber, adding the company should "stop its activities" during the legislative inquiry.

"We don't want this to get out of hand or for the worst to happen," he said. "It's a very emotional situation and I think we can all sit down and talk in a calm way."

Quebec Transport Minister Jacques Daoust said he wants Uber to stop its "illegal" activities.

Daoust noted that the government has already seized 1,000 cars operated by Uber drivers.

Uber Canada spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said it was "unfortunate" Coderre was "seeking to protect the monopoly interests of the taxi industry while overlooking the majority of Montrealers who have made clear their desire for safe, reliable and affordable transportation options."

The controversy surrounding Uber has raged across the country, with Edmonton city council recently approving a bylaw that would allow it and similar companies to operate legally.

The bylaw takes effect March 1 and includes two licences: one for firms called private transportation providers and the other for taxis.

City officials in Toronto are also working on a bylaw. A report is expected in April. Mayor John Tory has commended Edmonton and says he hopes his city can accomplish the same thing.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • South Korea calls for North Korea to respond to talk offers

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korea on Friday urged North Korea to accept its offers for talks as Pyongyang continued to ignore Seoul's proposal for a military meeting to ease animosities along their tense border. Source
  • Coffee recalled: It's not caffeine keeping you up

    World News Toronto Sun
    GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — A Texas coffee company is recalling one of its roasts because it was making some men a bit too excited. Bestherbs Coffee LLC issued the voluntary recall for its New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee after the U.S. Source
  • Parole hearing for Paul Bernardo pushed back

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Schoolgirl killer Paul Bernardo’s bid for parole has been delayed. The notorious sicko began his application for day parole last year. He was scheduled to have a hearing in August, but that has since been pushed back to October, according to various media reports. Source
  • Sessions says he 'loves this job' and is staying on

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions, publicly skewered by his boss for stepping clear of the Russia-Trump investigations, declared Thursday he still loves his job and plans to stay on. Yet Donald Trump’s airing of his long-simmering frustrations with Sessions raised significant new questions about the future of the nation’s top prosecutor. Source
  • A weird Florida mystery: Frozen pork falling from the sky

    World News CTV News
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Meat falling from the sky is weird, even by Florida standards. But that's what happened at 4 a.m. Saturday when a 6.8-kilogram bag of frozen pork landed on the Deerfield Beach home of Travis Adair and his family. Source
  • Citing free speech, UC Berkeley offers to waive venue fee for right-wing speaker

    World News CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- University of California, Berkeley is now offering to waive a venue fee for former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro to speak on campus on the date Berkeley College Republicans requested, school officials said Thursday afternoon. Source
  • Syrian refugee family's chocolate business expanding, hiring in N.S.

    Canada News CTV News
    A chocolate business started by a Syrian refugee family in Nova Scotia has become so successful that they plan to move into a bigger production space and have begun advertising for employees. Peace By Chocolate was started by the Hadhad family last August in a small barn beside their new home in Antigonish, N.S. Source
  • 2 killed, 100 injured after earthquake strikes Greece, Turkey

    World News CTV News
    KOS, Greece -- A powerful earthquake struck Greek islands early Friday morning, damaging buildings and a port, killing at least two people and causing more than 100 injuries, authorities said. The island of Kos was nearest to the epicenter and appeared to be the worst-hit, with two deaths and structural damage to older buildings. Source
  • At least 2 killed, 120 hurt as earthquake strikes Greek island

    World News CTV News
    KOS, Greece -- A powerful earthquake shook the Greek island of Kos early Friday morning, damaging several buildings and the main port, killing at least two people and causing more than 120 injuries, authorities said. Source
  • CIA director: Moscow loves to 'stick it to America'

    World News Toronto Sun
    ASPEN, Colo. — CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Thursday that Russia is interested in staying in Syria, partly because they “love to stick it to America.” Asked if Russia is America’s friend or adversary, Pompeo replied: “It’s complicated. Source