August 2018

Province should take prompt action to save the taxi industry from inept regulators

To the editor,

(Editor’s note: This is an open letter to newly elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford.)

Thank you for responding to the first paragraph of a 6 page report that I sent you outlining how Ontario municipalities, who let Private Transportation Companies (PTC’s) like Uber and Lyft into their jurisdictions, are eradicating their existing taxi industries that employ thousands of full time workers and are replacing them with part time workers who already are showing a lack of health, safety and consumer service for the taxi using public in Ontario.

Are the words contained in your email to me just more political rhetoric or are you a true man of your word?

If you are and you read the report I sent you dated June 8, 2018, the day you were elected, you cannot possibly walk away from this catastrophe and you and your party should immediately intervene and put a stop to it.

This has gone well beyond a municipal licensing issue and has become a serious Ontario political problem that municipalities have clearly shown they are incapable of handling.

The 10,000 members and their families in Toronto’s taxi industry and the thousands of other taxi industry members and their families throughout Ontario need your help to escape financial ruin.

This requires you to address the issues in my report; immediately respond to its content and as soon as possible, intervene to resolve this most serious problem.

We look forward to your immediate response showing a course of action that supports an industry that has faithfully served Ontario’s municipalities for over 175 years.

Gerry Manley

To sue, or not to sue…

To the editor,

(Editor’s note: The following letters first appeared in an email exchange in which industry veterans Gerry Manley and Peter Pellier debate the relative merits of fighting the industry’s municipal regulators in the courts. The first letter is from Pellier.)

The only way legal action against the City of Toronto, or, for that matter, the City of Mississauga, will arise is if a first-rate lawyer with considerable experience in municipal law comes forward and agrees to take the case on a contingency basis, thus considerably reducing ongoing, out-of-pocket expenses. The reticence on the part of the legal profession to come forward in this manner suggests that those selfsame lawyers proclaiming confidence in a successful outcome are not being entirely truthful. While they are more than willing to risk other people’s money in an attempt to prove their claim, they refuse to use their own.

At the end of the day, the City holds all the cards. In a legal battle such as this, they have unlimited funds - yours and mine - as well as unlimited legal resources at their disposal. Also, they have the luxury of time. If launched, such an action could take years to finally resolve, particularly in the event of an appeal - a virtual certainty. While the City couldn’t care less about the passage of time, senior members of the industry clearly do for obvious reasons.

Gerry, you well know how all-consuming legal actions such as this are. The physical, emotional and financial demands are considerable. How many members of our respective industries are willing to accept these demands, particularly given the fact the outcome is uncertain. Speculation regarding the outcome is just that - guesswork. A particular judge or panel of judges may or may not agree with our position. One thing we do know for certain is the City will be vigilant in defending such an action, given what is at stake.

At this stage in my life, the less uncertainty with which I have to contend, the better. I believe many of our colleagues feel the same. How else to explain their reticence in fighting the good fight.

Peter D. Pellier

(Editor’s note: This is Manley’s reply.)

I understand and partially agree with your synopsis, but when all other avenues are closed to you, you must be willing to take the road open to you.

If you do not, then there will be an ever ending flow of illegal and unfair statutes being brought to bear on our membership and all of society for that matter.

The cost as I have shown you would be minimal to each member even if you can’t find a lawyer to do it on a contingency basis and age should never be a reason for not confronting an injustice even if in the end, you won’t directly gain the benefit from such action.

Gerry Manley


2018 Taxi News

Province should take prompt action to save the taxi industry from inept regulators

To sue, or not to sue…