To the editor,
(Note: This is an open letter to Mayor John Tory, Toronto Council and staff.)
You spurned a democratic rule of law – very standard in “municipal code Chapter 545” – the second you opened the gates to flood Toronto with ride-hailing Ubers!
What’s more, you defied political, economic and social ethics to suit Uber. Shamefully, underhandedly, you legalized Uber in an hour! You went into the city hall square to tell anxiously waiting na´ve reporters, whose only interest was to print your confounded bare-faced lies in the next day’s newspapers: “Uber now has legal status. (Making Uber legal did not make it morally right.) It’s on a level playing field with Toronto’s taxi industry. Everything will be alright now!”
You will try politically to baffle your way out of it, but the facts will stand: Uber made a mockery out of your so-called “level playing field,” a long past fancy, because you walked away never intending to enforce it! But also you left Uber to its own haphazard, notorious ways!
To you public safety was expendable at 30 cents a ride from Uber! Running off at the mouth the way you do about the great importance of public safety is a bunch of pretentious hooey!
To the editor,
(Note: The following letters originated as part of an email exchange between Peter Pellier (first letter below) and Gerry Manley.)
In life, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Had members of the taxi industry throughout the GTHA been more proactive when Uber X emerged, including the staging of peaceful protests at Queen’s Park, in all likelihood, it would have resulted in a different outcome. In retrospect, along with our elected representatives, we acted like deer blinded by headlights, until it was too late - content to bitch and moan to one another, rather than direct our collective energies in a more constructive manner. Ask yourself, how many MPP’s and local councillors read Taxi News?
By the time we ‘stormed’ City Hall, demanding intervention from our local regulators, it was too late. All too quickly, Uber had became a watchword, certainly for the young and the restless, attracted, as they were, to cheap fares and the Uber app. In their eyes, taxis had become irrelevant, virtually overnight.
Local regulators capitalized on the absence of any coordinated protest by cabbies from Hamilton to Oshawa by knocking us to the ground, and, in the same breath, openly embracing Uber.
Amid the ensuing brouhaha, the plight of the disabled got lost in the shuffle. Already financially devastated, cabbies were somehow expected to assume major responsibility for their transportation, absent of any government assistance whatsoever. Holders of TTL’s quickly discovered just how unprofitable it was to operate, burdened with onerous expenses and insufficient income.
At the end of the day, we are the architects of our own fortune and misfortune. While cabbies continue to point fingers at the politicians, the fact remains, we need to assume our share of the responsibility for what transpired. If only we had more fully appreciated the damage Uber was about to inflict at the time.
Peter D. Pellier
You are correct and it is very sad that most of our membership do not stand up for their rights and keep letting the government violate their own laws that are costing our members millions of dollars.
If our members would en masse completely refuse to provide this service without government assistance, how quickly do you think this would get resolved?
If we only had an industry with members that had intestinal fortitude, what we could achieve would be remarkable. Even when they are showed they are being taken advantage of illegally, they still sit back and no nothing.
It makes me believe they will get what they deserve due to their lack of involvement in correcting the injustices we have faced for decades.
I hope our court case is successful and I am around to see that come to fruition because it is becoming very tiresome doing research and reports with absolutely no support from my own industry.
Gerald H. Manley
To the editor,
The Danforth Islamic Center (DIC) is organizing an Eid-Al-FITR prayer at Dentonia Park field (80 Thyra Avenue, Danforth /Victoria Park Ave) on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. The prayer will start at 9:30 AM and finish around 10:15 AM. A couple thousand Muslims usually join this prayer. The prayer will be lead by Imam Sk. Irshad Osman ( Khatib of DIC ).
Toronto Mayor John Tory will be present as a special guest of this prayer. Also attending will be former Toronto Police Chief and federal Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair; Member of Parliament (Beaches–East York) Nathaniel Smith; Member of Provincial Parliament (Scarborough South West) Doly Begum; Member of Provincial Parliament (Beaches–East York) honorable Rima Berns-McGown; and Councillor Ward 19 (Beach East York) Brad Bradford. Each of the invited dignitaries will be giving a short speech.
To the editor,
(Note: The following letters are part of an extended email exchange between Peter Pellier, first letter below, and Gerry Manley.)
A letter appeared in the Saturday Star, written by Tony D’Andrea of Toronto, headed: ‘Governments must crack down on social media’. It’s well worth your attention. What follows are the concluding paragraphs:
“It’s to be expected that social mistakes happen with highly advanced technology. But when serious harm is allowed to knowingly persist by governments elected to serve and protect the public, then it’s more the government’s fault than digital media’s.
For governments to know and not to act is a betrayal of their social contract’s terms and conditions with people.”
Peter D. Pellier
The violation of governments’ social contract with their citizens has long been one of my arguments when it comes to how the taxicab industry has and is being treated, especially since our social contract has more restrictions than any other social contract government has with any other entity they regulate.
I believe this is one of the cornerstones of the Toronto taxi industry’s civil case against the City of Toronto. What should also be considered, is that our provincial and City levels of government are also in violation of a “tort.” A tort in common law jurisdictions, is a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act. It includes the infliction of emotional distress, negligence, financial losses, injuries, and invasion of privacy, just to name a few.
In both contract and tort law, successful claimants must show that “they have suffered foreseeable losses,” or harm as a “direct result of the breach of duty.” Does tort not totally describe what municipalities have done to the taxicab industry?
It was blatantly obvious our members were going to suffer foreseeable losses and that was pointed out to both the municipal and provincial governments, because they lifted the previously restricted number of licences issued to vehicles-for-hire, which in the case of Toronto, went from 5,204 taxicabs and 584 limousines to currently include 82,784 Private Transportation Company vehicle owners/operators who work in companies such as Uber and Lyft– numbers which are growing on a day-to-day basis. This exponential growth in the number of vehicles-for-hire also removes any possibility of the City ensuring an acceptable level of public safety. Would these numbers not show a foreseeable loss?
Gerald H. Manley