Lawyer
Taxilogoweb2014

April 2018

Toronto and Mississauga Mayors should be turfed on election day for PTC fiasco

To the editor,

Here we are without any funds willing to commit to any kind of court battle against Uber. If we did win in court, Uber would appeal as it always does, and it would take years to get a decision. Time obviously is not on our side. The leadership, which once appeared, has now disappeared. The future looks bleak.

BUT WE HAVE A PLAN. 

The plan does not require hundreds of thousands of dollars to succeed. The cost is minimal. We speak to the heart of the issue. The plan clearly shows who is responsible for our current situation. More importantly, it clearly shows how we can win.

We win in a different court, that of public opinion. It is called an ELECTION. The next municipal election in Toronto and Mississauga is in October 2018. Time is now on our side. Resources? We have plenty of those also. It is all of us. If we don’t use the election to its fullest potential we miss out on a great opportunity that we think could be the game changer that we are all looking for and very much need.

The mayors of Toronto and Mississauga, J. Tory and B. Crombie, are exposing every man, woman and child to the risks of injury, sexual assault and possibly death by allowing Uber to operate thousands of taxis on our city streets.

These taxis are operated by persons without criminal background checks, vehicle roadworthiness checks and in cases of accidents would be unable to produce a legally-required commercial insurance certificate.

In Toronto and Mississauga, Uber cabs are not required to install onboard surveillance cameras. These cameras have proven to be the single most effective method to protect both taxi drivers and the taxi riding public from every type of criminal activity.

When the safety features of surveillance cameras are used in conjunction with criminal background checks, as hav been utilized for many years in regulated taxis in Toronto, serious criminal activity is practically zero.

In one news report alone on TV channel CP24 in Toronto, the following was reported:

• Europe’s top court ruled that Uber is a taxi company and may be regulated like any other taxi company;

• A female employee at the British Embassy in Lebanon was murdered by an Uber driver;

• Ottawa police issued a warning to the general population that a person posing as an Uber driver was stealing credit card information from unsuspecting passengers and that people using Uber should be wary;

• A serious incident occurred in Markham, Ontario, involving an Uber driver who attacked a female passenger.

In other recent news there was a serious accident in Toronto where several people were injured in an Uber taxi. The insurance company refused to provide coverage.

According to Taxi News in one year there were eight assaults of a sexual nature committed by Uber drivers in 2017 in the Greater Toronto Area.

On Saturday, February 3rd, 2018, the National Post reported a death that could have been avoided in Quebec. A vehicle working for a ride-sharing company crashed into another vehicle, killing one person. The roads were wet and slippery and investigation showed the vehicle had poor brakes and badly worn tires. Had the ride-sharing vehicle been required to have a safety check, it would not have been on the road.

On February 19, 2018, channel CP24 reported that an Uber Eats Delivery driver shot and killed a customer in Atlanta.

The ongoing stream of negative news bulletins concerning Uber prompted us to visit the Internet to discover if there were more serious incidents caused by Uber. Very quickly we found a shocking number of crimes of every type committed by Uber and Lyft drivers. A large percentage of these attacks were of a sexual nature, targeting women. There were many murders and approximately one thousand attacks by Uber and Lyft drivers. We also found lists called Impostors. These were not necessarily full time Uber drivers but appeared to be criminals who, because of the absence of criminal background checks, found it easy to become Uber taxi drivers who were able to service unsuspecting passengers who could then become their victims.

We urge everyone reading this letter to visit the Internet yourselves to view the carnage that is caused by Uber drivers. You will be shocked and might become motivated, as we are, to bring these issues to the public’s attention for the October 2018 election. On your computer simply type in CRIMES COMMITTED BY UBER AND LYFT and you will see for yourselves that we do not exaggerate.

As we read about the many hundreds of criminal acts perpetrated by Uber and Lyft drivers in dozens of cities, we come to realize THAT UBER IS A SINGLE COMPANY CRIME WAVE OF EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS.

For some reason no one seems overly concerned, possibly because the public does not understand the dangers and mayhem Uber drivers represent.

Hopefully we can change this with an ongoing Awareness Information Campaign. We can inform as many people as possible of the extent and number of criminal incidents caused by Uber drivers. We can use every tool at our disposal to get our message across. We can inform Women’s Activists groups, write Letters to the Editor to large newspapers and community papers.

We can invite the press to demonstrations at City Hall where we can carry placards and handouts, and give out flyers at every mall in the city and get a website going.

We assume there will be other candidates who will be willing to oppose Mayors Tory and Crombie. We will of course, talk to them, when they make their intentions known.

One would think that Uber and our elected representatives would have the same objective: to give their customers and citizens the safest ride possible. It would be in everyone’s best interests. Apparently safety is not their concern. Uber’s rigid business model does not include the cost of cameras and obtaining proper background checks. 

We also know that Uber is worth approximately seventy billion dollars. Surely it can afford these and other life saving features. It is not up to Toronto and Mississauga’s city councils to maximize Uber’s bottom line by not making cameras mandatory in taxis. All citizens everywhere expect a worry free safe ride made possible by their elected representatives.  

We are aware that we frequently use the word Uber but we want to make it perfectly clear that our fight should be focused strictly against our lawmakers, Mayor Tory and Mayor Crombie. These are the politicians who have given the green light to Uber to operate however its wishes. These two mayors are strong supporters of Uber’s policies and are a strong influence on their city councils.

At the same time as many cities and even whole countries are rejecting Uber, our mayors are endorsing their entire business model.

Toronto City Council passed a law that gave rise to a new brand of company called a Private Taxi Company (PTC) under which Uber and others are allowed to operate. Now Toronto has two types of taxi companies under its jurisdiction. Uber and others operating as PTCs are barely regulated while regulated taxis must follow rigidly all the old existing laws.

Uber, under these loose PTC rules, is able to avoid costly safety standards and was able to create a Predatory Pricing model which provided a 30 percent discount to their customers.

In addition, Uber is allowed to deploy as many taxis on the streets as it wants and apparently Lyft is doing the same. There are recent studies clearly showing these numbers of cabs are absolutely not required to service the public. Obviously there is no business that can survive financially when a competitor can provide the same service for 30 percent less. These discounts and other disadvantages have caused widespread unemployment and hardship among regulated drivers and owners alike.

For some people it has proven too much to bear. There have been four suicides in New York City since December (reported in the Daily Mail.com March 26, 2018 edition) as well as one in India reported on the T.V. program “The Passionate Eye”.

During Mr. Tory’s campaign to legalize Uber he repeatedly said he would create a “level playing field” for both the regulated and unregulated taxi companies. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of Mr. Tory’s actions can be easily described as Unequal Application of the Law.

Now Mr. Tory refuses to discuss these issues and indicates that everything is a done deal. Whatever happened to the “level playing field”? Mr. Tory thinks he is able to whitewash his responsibility for destroying the regulated taxi industry. We think the courts would see it very differently and simply elevate his actions to the most serious aspects of Unequal Application of the Law.

If our elected officials cannot act responsibility to protect their citizens from physical harm and the financial ruin of the regulated taxi industry, why should anyone vote for them?

In closing we refer you to advice contained in a Government Guide Book:

“QUESTION: Who monitors the Municipality?

ANSWER: Municipal Councils are elected and ultimately responsible to their electorate for the decisions they make and the actions they take.”

It is a vigilant and knowledgeable public exercising its right to vote in a Municipal Election that keeps councils in check, ensuring a fair and effective democratic process. The police may also become involved in criminal matters.

The Committee for Responsible Government

 

2018 Taxi News

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