Taxi drivers blocked a bridge off the island of Montreal today to protest stalling tactics. Nearly 1,000 drivers from around the province took part in the blockade near the site of this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix race.
With cars parked, and drivers convening in groups as traffic moved slowly along the other available lane, the taxi industry was reminding the government of its vow to disrupt major public events if Uber is not regulated before the provincial National Assembly recesses for the summer.
“We hope we’re going to be able to transport people who are going to attend the Grand Prix on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. But if there’s no law, we’re going to be there but we are going to be protesting,” Benoît Jugand, a spokesman for the union representing some 4,000 taxi drivers and owners in Quebec told the CBC’s Lauren McCallum.
“We’re going to protest all summer long.”
Bill 100 requires “remunerated passenger transportation services,” including UberX, to use a taxi permit or face stiff fines.
Those offering taxi transportation services without holding a permit would face fines of $2,500 to $25,000. And the company could be fined up to $50,000.
Opposition leader, Francois Legault, of the Coalition Avenir Québec was targetted for his efforts to stall the passage of Bill 100. He claims that Bill 100 will punish consumers in Quebec, if Uber is forced out of the province.
Uber has suggested several compromises to the proposed rules established in Bill 100, but the Quebec government not open to negotiating.