City Council at their July 16, 17 and 18, 2019 meetings on the review of the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 546, Licensing, Vehicles-for-Hire, removed the restrictions on what vehicles can be operated as a taxicab and brought them in line with the vehicle requirements for PTC owners/operators. The basic requirement now is that the vehicle has four doors.
Not only does this level the playing field on at least this one issue, it actually makes sense.
In the past decade plus, the federal government has initiated very strict rules on the manufacturing of new vehicles either manufactured in Canada or brought into Canada for sale, when it comes to emissions, regulations which are increasing in severity with each and every passing year.
With the Vehicles-for-Hire fleet not allowed to operate a vehicle over 7 model years old, any emission issue in our fleet has already been addressed by federal Canada. Couple that with the Province of Ontario no longer requiring emission checks for vehicles, it is obvious that they feel the same, since the majority of vehicles in Ontario are under 7 model years old as well.
This opens up the automotive market for our members giving them a much broader choice of vehicles that can be purchased, many of which are more affordable than what was mandated previously in the bylaw.
To the editor,
(Note: This is an open letter to Mississauga’s manager of Mobile Licensing, Michael Foley.)
It is my understanding the City is proposing that taxi owners and drivers who do not operate accessible cabs will be obliged to contribute financially to the cost of providing on demand accessible taxi service to the people of Mississauga. Suffice to say, such a proposal raises a number of critical questions.
First and foremost, where does it state in either the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, or the corresponding Regulations - specifically 191/11, Section 79 - that the financial burden for providing this service is to be assumed, in part or in whole, by members of the taxi industry?
Secondly, given the fact Private Transportation Companies service 80 percent of the Vehicle For Hire business, why are these corporations not responsible for a proportionate amount of the aforementioned costs?
Thirdly, what portion of the total cost will be assumed by the City?
Fourthly, has any consideration been given to both owners who are retired from active driving after years of service, as well as those whose plates are on the shelf?
Given the substantial losses sustained by Mississauga’s taxi owners and drivers in recent years, imposing a financial burden of this nature, quite frankly, is akin to squeezing blood from a stone.
Peter D. Pellier
To the editor,
Much of Ontario’s taxicab industry is being deregulate and headed towards eradication because of new legislation surrounding Private Transportation Companies (PTCs) like Uber and Lyft, who receive bylaw preference over taxicabs.
Despite this obvious injustice, we cannot get Queen’s Park to intervene and stop municipalities from doing this, which the province has the power to do. They are sitting back and watching thousands of our members being forced into financial ruin that will effect many thousands more of their family members, but it is O.K. for Queen’s Park to authorize a 14 percent increase in salary for the province’s top bureaucrats, people already earning in excess of $200,000 annually?
Is it any wonder that the average citizen in Ontario sees democracy as just another word in the dictionary, while autocratic rule at Queen’s Park and numerous municipalities around Ontario reigns supreme?
To the editor,
The provincial government’s handling of AODA has been less than stellar, to put it mildly. Case in point, while the Act has been in place since 2005, the Mimico Go Station is still not accessible... 14 years after the fact! Unconscionable comes to mind. Why then should we expect fair and reasonable treatment on the part of the province for either those with disabilities or for cabbies?
It goes without saying, the provision of on demand transportation services to Ontarians with mobility issues should be fully covered by the public purse, particularly given the fact the majority of those who qualify are unable to afford the cost of a cab. As for foisting this cost onto the backs of struggling cabbies, words fail.
Why not ask each and every MPP and member of Council to personally assume their share of this cost? After all, they make a hell of a lot more money than we do.
Peter D. Pellier