Uber’s ride-sharing service continues to be a hot topic in Canada. While the company rolls out new features to its customers, like Spotify integration, heat from various business and political outlets is coming at a fierce pace.
Uber operates in a number of Canadian cities, including Toronto and Vancouver, but recently its business has been under fire for the legitimacy of its operations. The City of Toronto is seeking a court injunction to forbid it from operating on its streets, saying it “poses a serious risk to the public, including those who are signing on as drivers.” However, the Canadian Competition Bureau believes otherwise, saying the “digital dispatch services offer an innovative and convenient alternative to traditional methods of arranging urban transportation, such as hailing a taxicab on the street or phoning a traditional dispatcher. This is very convenient for consumers.”
Over in Ottawa, Unifor, Canada’s largest union, is backing a bill introduced by Ottawa South Liberal MPP John Fraser called the “Protecting Passenger Safety Act” that specifically “address[es] the issue of app-based bandit cabs in the province.” Fraser is suggesting that those operating a business without a proper license should receive a fine of $500 to $30,000 per offence, as well as demerit points.
“Strong legislation is needed to protect the public against bandit taxis in Ontario,” said Amrik Singh, president of Unifor Local 1688.” Singh also noted there is a place for apps like Uber, but said no company should be able to “skirt the law simply by calling itself a technology company.”
[source] Mark Taylor, CNW [/source]