Coop
Taxilogoweb2014

October 2018

Three cheers for Taxi News

To the editor,

(Editor’s note: The following is a heavily edited email exchange between Peter Pellier and Gerry Manley focusing mostly on the very nice things they had to say about Taxi News. We couldn’t resist taking this rare opportunity to indulge in a little shameless self-promotion. In the first letter, Pellier references Manley’s long and “brobdignagian” correspondence on the sorry state of Toronto taxi regulation.)

If there is any justice in this world, the industry’s legal action against the City of Toronto, ultimately, will be successful, thereby benefiting surviving owners, and the families of those owners no longer around.

Know that your contribution to the cause has been incalculable. Without your Brobdignagian efforts, believe me, there would be no lawsuit.

Also, enough cannot be said about Taxi News, which has been a vital source of information and opinion, not to mention a rallying force for the industry over the years. The commitment on the part of John, Bill and Mike has been nothing short of inspirational.

Peter D. Pellier

Peter:

Without Taxi News spreading the word to our membership, my efforts would not have amounted to a hill of beans.

In the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, (“GTHA”) media coverage for the taxi business, which includes, taxicabs, limousines, private transportation vehicles and all other privately compensated transportation businesses, begins and ends with Taxi News.

It is the only media source that reports industry issues and gives our membership a platform to voice their concerns.

Gerald Manley

What are the chances City will conduct a fair and honest taxi review?

To the editor,

(Editor’s note: The following is taken from an email exchange between Peter Pellier and Gerry Manley. Pellier’s letter appears first.)

The City of Toronto is well aware of the impact PTC’s have had on the taxi industry, and has been for quite some time. In no way did this deter a decision by members of Council to throw the doors wide open to Uber and Lyft, in return for a piece of the action— at considerable expense to the City’s cabbies.

We witnessed firsthand a similar outcome in Mississauga, with the Mayor and members of Council demonstrating a level of inconsideration that could only be termed unconscionable.

As long as the present participants, namely, John Tory and Tracey Cook, remain in their respective positions, the Toronto taxi industry can expect nothing of benefit from the present review. (The same goes for Mississauga, when it conducts its review in the new year.)

Members of the Toronto taxi industry made their views known during the previous review, and look where it got them.

The only hope for T.O. is a new mayor, who would bring a different mindset to the table.

Pity we cannot count on Queen’s Park to intervene. It is clear that Premier Doug Ford has little enthusiasm for addressing the commercial ground transportation file anytime soon.

Peter D. Pellier

To the editor,

With 45-plus years in the Toronto taxi industry, I have attended more L&S Committee meetings and taxicab reformation meetings than I care to remember. The outcome has always been predictable as it is always patently obvious that staff and councillors come to those meetings with their own prepared and hidden agendas.

The last round of Toronto taxicab reformation is probably the best (or worst) example. When the very first meeting was held in December 2011, it was supposed to be between staff and industry members to discuss and set an agenda. Upon arrival at the meeting, there were many people in attendance who were not taxi industry members and behold, at the front of the room on a big board was an eight point agenda. It was obvious from the outset, staff and councillors would never entertain our input and trust me, it will not be any different this time around although we still must try. They are experts at smoke and mirrors and running a dog and pony show.

As you are all aware, I have more than once pointed this out to our members and have warned them they will never get a political or bureaucratic resolution of our problems and issues. The only thing available to us is to get a legal opinion on whether we have a case to go to court and seek restitution for the City’s careless and devastating regulation of the vehicle-for-hire industry. And if the case is there, GO FOR IT!

Gerry Manley

Don’t blame Uber, blame the taxi regulators

To the editor,

I was recently asked how can I explain my thoughts on how a taxi business should be regulated to a large group of consumers who prefer to use Private Transportation Companies over taxicabs and who would obviously disagree with my analysis.

I answered that in this way. Let’s say you are working for Bell Canada as a full time employee with benefits and have been doing so for over 20 years.

All of a sudden out of the blue, Bell Canada informs you that they are embarking on a new business model by replacing all full time employees with part time employees and with the government’s permission, would be paying those new part time employees no benefits and a wage under the legal minimum wage which, in Ontario, will be $15 per hour in a few months.

This would mean your best working years as a full time employee are gone; if you wished to remain as a part time employee it would be without benefits, including no pension and a salary under the legal minimum wage. This is what the Toronto taxi industry is facing, minus the loss of benefits as we never had any, but our licenses were our pension plans. By flooding the marketplace with cheap, virtually unlimited competition, our municipal regulators have destroyed our livelihoods and security.

When it was explained to my questioner in layman’s terms, he could see how unfair it is and why the taxi industry membership does indeed have a legitimate complaint.

I went on to explain to him that this could be a precursor for any business and his job might be the next one on the chopping block, so perhaps all full time employees in any job should be supporting the Toronto taxicab industry’s position and the recently announced legal action, as he and every other full time employee in Ontario could be next.

That Uber and Lyft have corralled 76 percent of all taxi trips taken, leaving the traditional taxi industry with but 7 percent would strongly suggest the general public is either uninformed, uncaring, or both. That the bottom line has become the principal criterion for choosing so-called ridesharing services over taxi services is certainly a very sorry state of affairs.

But don’t blame Uber and Lyft, the blame for this unconscionable state of affairs rests with our regulators, most of whom surely knew better, yet still lacked the wherewithal to act responsibly.

Peter D. Pellier

 

 

2018 Taxi News

Three cheers for Taxi News

What are the chances City will conduct a fair and honest taxi review?

Don’t blame Uber, blame the taxi regulators

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