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Taxi Drivers Welcome Ruling That Found City Of Ottawa Negligent In Allowing Uber To Operate

In a major victory for taxi drivers, a judge has ruled that the City of Ottawa was negligent when it allowed Uber to operate in 2014. The taxi industry has stated that this lawsuit win is a ‘great victory’. The lawsuit was filed against the City of Ottawa over its handling of Uber’s entry into the market 10 years ago. One of the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit said that the rulings made on Monday were a great day for the taxi industry.

A judge from the Ontario Superior Court observed that the City of Ottawa was neglectful in its enforcement of the city’s taxi by-law, which proved to be detrimental to the city’s established taxi industry.

The lawsuit was filed by Marc Andre Way, president and CEO of Coventry Connections, Metro Taxi Ltd, and taxi plate holder Iskhak Mail, who filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of taxi plate holders in the city, naming the City of Ottawa as the defendant in 2016. The lawsuit alleged that the City of Ottawa had contravened the Charter rights of plate holders and that the city’s taxi bylaw constituted an unlawful tax.

Marc Andre Way, who is also the president of the Canadian Taxi Association, said he is very pleased with the ruling that found the City negligent in its handling of Uber’s emergence in the market. Way said, “This is a great victory for the industry and the rule of law. It shows that big tech, a big company, can’t just walk into a city and disrupt an industry to the point where it’s almost decimated.”

Justice Marc Smith ruled that while the City was negligent in its enforcement of the 2012 taxi bylaw, it did not infringe upon the Charter rights of taxi drivers, nor did the fees collected under the taxi bylaw constitute an unlawful tax. Justice Smith wrote, “The City’s response to Uber’s arrival was negligent, causing harm to the taxi industry. The City capitulated to Uber’s bullying tactics when it entered the Ottawa market.”

Uber started its operations in Ottawa in 2014, and according to taxi drivers, its arrival disrupted the well-established taxi sector and its business. Uber was also operating outside the framework of the taxi bylaw, enabling it to gain undue advantages compared to the local taxi sector. The taxi industry in Ottawa is heavily regulated, requiring taxi drivers to pay fees to operate.

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Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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