July 09, 2015

Uber in Ottawa: City to review taxi industry

Brian LilleyArchive

A planned show down between Uber drivers and cabbies in Ottawa fizzled Wednesday after the city agreed to study their taxi industry over the next year, including whether Uber could be brought under some kind of regulation.

I spoke with city Councillor Rick Chiarelli who says he can see arguments from both sides.

He wants to loosen the grip the city has on the taxi system but not have a complete free for all.

PS: Don't miss the story of the local woman who taught herself plastic surgery from YouTube videos...

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commented 2015-07-09 21:16:24 -0400
I have mixed feelings about this. Uber is attempting to provide a cheaper, more immediate method of transportation. Well and good in theory. But then comes the practice.

If an Uber driver (who, most likely, barely has a class 5 license and is using his/her own personal vehicle) gets into an accident where the passenger is injured, that driver has no legal recourse. his/her insurance likely will be void, because the vehicle is not covered for chauffeur use, which means he/she is out a car, and still making the payments. One lawsuit, and he/she is bankrupted for life. The theory of being a licensed chauffeur is that you’ve passed some kind of test and are qualified to be a chauffeur and be liable for other peoples’ transportation and safety. (The reality often is that the immigrant drivers know less about our driving laws and are not properly qualified in the first place, but that’s the responsibility of the taxi company.)

I approve of a free market system, but at what point in that system does the passenger waive all liability and let some upstart ferry around his life? Taxi companies carry insurance for this. Do the Uber drivers?

This is true even in a supposedly unregulated province like Alberta. My trade is regulated by the province. I have to carry liability insurance for when I’m in some client’s house. I have to be bonded. Even as a one-man corporation, this is required. If I try something that’s outside my field of expertise (even though I can physically do it), if something goes wrong I’m screwed. No coverage, and making payments to some lawsuit until the day I die.

Should we have no regulation whatsoever?
commented 2015-07-09 13:46:46 -0400
When the Govt. says they are going to “study” something, hang onto your wallet.
commented 2015-07-09 11:45:22 -0400
Does anybody actually believe that a government bureaucracy would recommend reduction of regulations, not in a thousand years!!
commented 2015-07-09 10:43:53 -0400
UBER has enough rules they don’t need socialist busy bodies government get out of our lives and stay out of business you have no idea how to run.
It’s time we made elected persons a part time job and we should start by paying the the minimum wage of $11.00 per hour that’s all they are worth.
commented 2015-07-09 10:37:00 -0400
BLAH BLAH BLAH Just another government teat sucker city getting in the way of people’s lives. Can’t you see technology has moved on. If I were a taxi driver or permit holder I’d sell it now before it is worthless. Uber is here to stay and if the taxi trade wants to compete then they should set up their own Uber type business. Some people are full time Uber drives they probably started because they needed to earn a few extra bucks to pay their taxes and others have found it’s a full time job.