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A Suggestion

To All,

Without having to write another detailed report, I believe if ATOOL could force a forensic audit of the MLS and City financial records involving the taxi industry and now the complete VFH industry, you will find the City guilty on two violations of provincial mandates.

a) Charging well above cost recovery amounts for licensing throughout the taxi industry and now VFH industry, which dates back several decades.

b) Licensing revenues are mandated to be used ONLY in the category they were collected from, which I believe millions over the past several decades, have been put into the general tax fund and not used exclusively for our category, which they were collected from.

Proving licensing revenues are what is really behind the City’s actions surrounding the taxi industry for decades now, including the now Accessibility Reserve Fund, which can be easily proved in the report I recently sent all of you and your lawyer, proves beyond any reasonable doubt, the validity of our claim and closes all of the loopholes in the City’s defence of our court action against them, showing violations of not only provincial statute, but federal statute as well.

Gerry Manley

 

Concluding Reports

To All,

Over the past several weeks, while writing new reports on our industry’s issues, I have been reviewing the reports I had already  written, predominately since Chapter 546 was enacted on July 15, 2016.

I have covered almost every conceivable major issue that our membership faces. Unfortunately I have had no success in getting the City of Toronto or the Province of Ontario to re-visit or in the case of the Province, intervene to correct the injustices perpetrated against our membership.

Other than the group ATOOL taking on the initiative to institute a civil action against the City, surrounding how Uber was initially allowed to illegally operate a business in this City, our membership continues to sit back, do nothing and allow the City to keep on stomping on their rights, with the Accessibility Reserve Fund being the most recent example.

As an individual, I have exhausted everything I can do to help our membership and without their support, our industry is indeed doomed. Now my course of action for the future is clear. Other than supporting ATOOL’s court case and supplying them any information that I can to assist their lawyer in presenting their case in the courts, as of December 31, 2019, my reports and observations on the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario’s handling of our industry will cease.

The only hope I have left, is that the taxi owners and operators in Toronto will financially support the ATOOL civil case, as that in my opinion, is all we have left before the City eradicates the industry.

Gerry Manley

 

Misleading Staff Reports

To All,

I have never been a believer in the accuracy of staff reports. Whether the mistakes they make are done because of a lack of investigative skill or to purposely mislead Committee, I cannot say, but I would like to give at least one example that clearly shows one of these two scenarios is correct.

On page #16 of 59 in the staff report, you will see a graph called Table C – Proposed Regulatory Charges for the Accessibility Fund Program. I first want to bring your attention to Licence Class – Private Transportation Company – Estimated Number of Trips – 31,651,347 – Based on 2019 Budget. I then would like you to look at the December 3, 2019 letter I sent to ATOOL’s lawyer Mr. Binetti and scroll down to  page # 5 of 10 and the first graph you will see on that page gives the year of collection, per trip fee, number of runs and amount collected, which if the word “estimate” is not below the figure, they are figures that I have received from Toronto City Hall..

You will notice that in 2018, the amount collected was $13,365,377 and when you divide this amount by $0.30 that equals 44,551,256, which was a 57.74% growth from 2017-2018. Remembering that the staff report was tabled on June 21, 2019 and all of the 2018 figures were available, for the projected staff number of 31,651,847 runs to be even close to correct, the 2019 budget figure would be 44,551,256 – 31,651,347 = 12,899,909 less trips done in 2019 than were dome in 2018, which would be a 28.95% decrease . The numbers I have received from City Hall for the first two quarters of 2019 were 29,154,526 and I extrapolated those numbers by doubling them for the entire year to add up to 58,309,053 showing an increase of 30.88% for 2019,  which is an acceptable increase when comparing to the 2017-2018 increase of 57.74%, not the reported staff number, which would be a 28.95% decrease.

On this same staff graph you will notice under Licence Class -Private Transportation Driver- Estimated Number of Licences – 45,000 Based on 2019 budget. On the same page of my report page #5 of 10, scroll down to the next graph and you will see Estimated PTC Drivers Licensing Fees – July 15, 2016 – December 31, 2020. Remembering the number of PTC driver figures come from Toronto City Hall except for the year 2020,  the growth from 2017 to 2018 was 26,680 or 53.07% increase, a figure readily available to staff prior to the tabling of the June 21, 2019 staff report.  If you take the staff projected figure of 45,000 for the 2019 budget, you would have to see the 2018 figure of 76,951 minus 45,000 = 31,957 , a  drop in the number of PTC drivers, which would be a 41.52% decrease from 2018. The numbers I received for 2019 in this category were 93,523 at the end of October 2019. Knowing the growth of this category from April 2019 through October 2019 was about 175 drivers per week, I extrapolated the end numbers for 2019 to be 94,923, which  from 2018 is an increase of 17,972 or 23.35%, which is well within acceptable levels, not a decrease 31,957 that would b if their numbers are to be believed.

My questions to staff would be where did you come up with the numbers for this June 21, 2019 staff report graph on page #16 of 59 which are so far out of whack that they are not even remotely close to the accurate figures of which you had figures available to you from the previous year to make your determinations. Being 26,657,706 trip short in your projections which is a shortage of $7,997,311.80 in licensing revenue  and 49,923 PTC drivers short in your projection, which is a licensing revenue shortage of $748,845,. When you combine both figures, they add up to $8,746,155.80, certainly does not convey the correct figures to Committee and would have undoubtedly played into their decision making process.

Gerry Manley

 

No Sense

To All,

When I first came into the City of Toronto’s taxicab industry in 1973, it did not take me long to realize that the industry was being mistreated by the City, including sometimes in violation of statute, and I decided to do some industry investigations, as to the reasons why this was occurring. I was very fortunate in the fact that I had a vehicle to get my information out to my fellow members and that was through Taxi News, which I have been honoured to have a very lengthy and informative relationship with, for most of my career.

I could not make sense of the fact, that no matter what I reported on, there was little to no movement by the membership to stand up to the City and fight for their rights. I also quickly found out why. The industry was and still is fractured into many smaller splinter groups that fight for what is of interest to them personally, which in most cases is not good for the membership a large, so there was never a unified voice formed by this industry, that in my opinion, would have swayed many of the negative things that we have been subject to over the years. The latest example would be how members, except for a small handful, are not fighting the Accessibility Reserve Fund, which is mandating non-accessible owners and drivers to financially support the Toronto Taxi Licence Class of accessible owners and drivers, who operate under the provincial on-demand accessible taxicab program, and who the City issued far more licenses for, than were required.

In this email, you will find attached my requested comments on Justice Perell’s recent decision to not certify for trial, ATOOL’s class action lawsuit against the City. This investigative report, along with any comments or observations I had, have or might have in the future, regarding the Toronto taxicab industry, ceases with this report, unless requested by ATOOL and their legal counsel for the purpose of supporting their civil case. To continue my work, which I have spent thousands of hours putting together over the years and at a great personal financial cost from my own resources is futile, as I work amongst industry members who do not have the intestinal fortitude, for the most part, to stand up for their working rights.

If you take away the present TTC wheel trans contract from our industry, it will no longer exists and it is those smaller groups that either presently do the contract or were among the past splinter groups that applied then and are applying now for part of that contract, that have also, like the politicians, thrown their industry under the bus for personal gain, with no consideration to the taxicab industry as a whole. I have no doubt that these groups will receive their just reward down the road. When the City works out a licensing plan to extract more revenues from these groups and the TTC finds another supplier willing to do the contract for less, these industry brokerages and their vehicle owners and drivers, will be joining the rest of us on the unemployment line and applying for social assistance as well.

Gerry Manley

 

Updated camera specifications for taxicabs

Good Afternoon Fiona,

I neglected to mention one very important point you stated in your email to me this afternoon.

I refer you to the sentence in your email, “Cameras in taxicabs are installed for driver safety”. You underlined driver. Are the almost 94,000 people operating a vehicle in a PTC or limousine brokerage  governed by the VFH by-law Chapter 546 not drivers?

You cannot discount public safety in this either and as I pointed out to you, the City of Toronto Act, 2006 includes consumers protection. This issue has nor been addressed with consideration to all of the elements that should have been looked into.

Dear Gerry,

RE: updated camera specification for taxicabs

City Council passed updates to the Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw in July 2019 which included the need to provide greater flexibility in camera choice for taxicabs to keep up with advancements in technology. Section 2.(C) of the report on p. 44 outlines the issues associated with existing cameras.

Cameras in taxicabs continue to be mandatory in Toronto because of the anonymity of picking up passengers from street-hails or cabstands, and because they accept cash. Cameras in taxicabs are installed for driver safety. City staff have reviewed camera specifications in other jurisdictions and also consulted with Toronto Police Services to update taxicab camera requirements. These updated specifications will ensure that taxicab owners and/or drivers can purchase and install cameras to record passengers at a variety of price-points and decide for themselves, if they wish to purchase additional features. Further information on the updated taxicab camera specifications can be found here.

Cameras are not mandatory in PTCs or limousines but, if installed, passengers must be notified that they may be recorded.

Kind regards,

Fiona Chapman

 

Good Afternoon Fiona,

Thank you for your response on the issue of in-car cameras, which I have shown and believe proven, should be mandated in all VFH categories governed by Chapter 546. Thank you as well, for providing the links to the legislation passed by council last year regarding changes to the in-car camera program for taxicabs.

Just to point out a couple of things your email does not address, I would like you, the MLS staff the GGLC and the Mayor to consider the following.

If the expanding of the camera types does not contain the same rules and regulations surrounding access to the images that were in place prior to the July 2019 changes to Chapter 546, that may lead to a violation of consumer confidential and could pose serious issues for the City. 

It could also be used as a cause of action against the City, as not all categories governed by Chapter 546, were mandated to have in-car cameras, which for years now, have proven to be a very effective preventative in stopping crime against the driver and the consumer, while providing an above acceptable level of safety.

As you have stated in this email and I am aware of, is there are no rules and regulations for PTC vehicles or limousines to instal in-car cameras, which shows me that the City is not fully aware of how these two entities are working the streets of Toronto, that is leaving  not only the driver in danger, but the consumers as well.

I believe they are not mandated to have in-car cameras, because the City believes both limousines and PTC’s actually follow the by-law rules and regulations, as far as their legal rights on how they are allowed to service the VFH consumers, which would leave the City to believe, PTC’s and limousine brokerages could always produce what vehicle serviced each and every one of their customers. Be assured this has never been the case.

Limousines and PTC vehicles regularly do street pick-ups and personal pre-arranged fares outside of the ones dispatched by their brokerages and in the case of PTC’s, those calls include cash payments as well. This clearly shows neither the limousine company or the PTC can prove 100% who is actually driving every customer in one of the vehicles operating from their licensed brokerages, showing the need for an in-car camera in every VFH category governed by Chapter 546. There has been more than enough proof of this, especially with PTC’s in the media recently, to prove the aforementioned points.

I again would suggest to you, all MLS staff, the GGLC, the Mayor and all City Councillors, that every VFH category governed by Chapter 546, should be mandated to install and maintain in good working order, an in-car camera, that meets the BY-LAW REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO THE JULY 2019 CHANGES, which limited access to the images to only to a police service and could not legally be accessed by the VFH operator.

In-car cameras have proven over the past 20 years, to be very effective in providing workplace and consumer safety, which presently the City is not currently providing in all vehicles governed by Chapter 546, but can easily be attained without cost to the City or the vehicle owner, as this cost is a business expense and therefore can be written off in their next income tax return.

May I strongly suggest you re-visit in-car cameras and mandate them for all categories governed by Chapter 546, as to do otherwise, would be a clear violation of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, Part II, General Powers of the City, Broad Authority, City Bylaws, 8 (2) 6. Health, safety and well being of persons. 8. Protection of persons and property, including CONSUMER PROTECTION.

 

Gerry Manley

Dear Gerry,

RE: updated camera specification for taxicabs

City Council passed updates to the Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw in July 2019 which included the need to provide greater flexibility in camera choice for taxicabs to keep up with advancements in technology. Section 2.(C) of the report on p. 44 outlines the issues associated with existing cameras.

Cameras in taxicabs continue to be mandatory in Toronto because of the anonymity of picking up passengers from street-hails or cabstands, and because they accept cash. Cameras in taxicabs are installed for driver safety. City staff have reviewed camera specifications in other jurisdictions and also consulted with Toronto Police Services to update taxicab camera requirements. These updated specifications will ensure that taxicab owners and/or drivers can purchase and install cameras to record passengers at a variety of price-points and decide for themselves, if they wish to purchase additional features. Further information on the updated taxicab camera specifications can be found here.

Cameras are not mandatory in PTCs or limousines but, if installed, passengers must be notified that they may be recorded.

Kind regards,
Fiona Chapman

Taxilogoweb2

February 2020

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