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

  • Here's the latest on the review of Canada's assisted dying law

    Canada News CBC News
    Five years after assisted dying was legalized in Canada, lawmakers are preparing to review the system that has permitted thousands of Canadians to choose the time and place of their deaths. In 2016, Canada became one of a small number of countries to allow certain adults to request a doctor's help in bringing about their own deaths. Source
  • Is Asian identity even a thing? Who cares, pass the popcorn for K-drama

    Canada News CBC News
    This First Person article is the experience of Jan Wong, the co-founder of the Asian Canadian Women's Alliance. For more information about CBC's First Person stories, please see the FAQ. Here's my COVID-19 confession: I'm addicted to Korean Netflix. Source
  • Calgary mayoral candidate who threatened health workers arrested after attending illegal gathering

    Canada News CBC News
    Kevin J. Johnston, a Calgary mayoral candidate who has threatened to arm himself and go to the homes of health workers, has been arrested after attending an illegal public gathering on Saturday. Police said the gathering took place Saturday morning, in contravention of a Court of Queen's Bench Order which imposes compliance with public health restrictions on organizers of events. Source
  • Tiger missing in Houston found safe, police say

    World News CTV News
    A Bengal tiger that has been missing in the Houston area has been located, officials said. The tiger is secure at BARC, the city's animal shelter and adoption agency, said Mary Benton, communications director for the city. Source
  • Embattled doctor steps down after allowing sex offender to mentor survivors at military trauma retreat

    Canada News CBC News
    Dr. Manuela Joannou is stepping down from her role as the medical director of a trauma program for military veterans and first responders in eastern Ontario amid public anger over her decision to place a registered sex offender as a peer mentor for a group of sexual assault survivors. Source
  • 'The most therapeutic thing I’ve ever done': Mohawk Lacrosse star pens novel about mental health

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Former Lacrosse star Delby Powless is opening up about his own mental health struggles in his novel “Medicine Game.” The Six Nations Lacrosse champion wrote the fictional book as a way to express his own real life experiences with sexual abuse he suffered as a child. Source
  • Houston police still don't know where a missing tiger is. Here's what we do know

    World News CTV News
    It's a wild story about a wild animal, but you won't find this tiger tale on Netflix. A Bengal tiger last seen in a west Houston neighborhood on Sunday is still missing, according to police. Source
  • Israel bombs Hamas Gaza chief's home as fighting enters seventh day

    World News CTV News
    GAZA/JERUSALEM -- Israel bombed the home of Hamas's chief in Gaza early on Sunday and the Islamist group fired rocket barrages at Tel Aviv as hostilities stretched into a seventh day with no sign of abating. Source
  • Crash victim had posted videos riding in Tesla on Autopilot

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The driver of a Tesla involved in a fatal crash that California highway authorities said may have been on operating on Autopilot posted social media videos of himself riding in the vehicle without his hands on the wheel or foot on the pedal. Source
  • Media demand Israel explain destruction of news offices

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- News organizations demanded an explanation Saturday for an Israeli airstrike that targeted and destroyed a Gaza City building housing the offices of The Associated Press, broadcaster Al-Jazeera and other media outlets. AP journalists and other tenants were safely evacuated from the 12-story al-Jalaa tower after the Israeli military warned of an imminent strike. Source