TLT denies license renewal to applicant with impaired driving conviction
by John Q. Duffy
The Toronto Licensing Tribunal denied the application of Ghermai Habtezion for the renewal of his Vehicle-For-Hire Driver’s Licence after a hearing held on Thursday, January 10, 2019, before the panel of Anu Bakshi, Gary Yee and Victoria Romero.
At present Habtezion is not licensed by the province to drive any vehicle, as his license is under suspension and will remain so until November, 2019.
Habtezion was first licensed as a taxicab driver in 1985.
His provincial license was administratively suspended in April, 2018 when he was charged with drinking and driving (3 separate charges) but he failed to inform Municipal Licensing and Standards of the suspension as required, nor did he surrender his VFH license and photo card.
He was involved in a personal injury accident which lead to the charges, but he said he was not responsible for the accident as another driver abruptly pulled in front of him.
Blood samples taken after the accident showed him to have a blood alcohol content of .118 and .116. He was charged with Impaired Driving, Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Operating a Motor Vehicle with over 80 mg alcohol. This lead to a November 2018 conviction and a one-year license suspension until November 2019.
He also has an Assault conviction from 1998 on his record plus several speeding convictions.
Arguing to have his City license renewed, Habtezion said, “I’ve been driving for 35 years. What do I do now?”
The panel did not take long to deny renewal of the VFH license as he does not have the required provincial driver license.
He can reapply for a VFH driver license when his provincial license is reinstated. Written reasons for the decision will be posted when they are ready.
In other business this day, Raja Sinnaraja, applying to renew a Tow Truck Driver’s Licence sent an email to the Tribunal office on January 10, 2019 requesting an adjournment. The Tribunal adjourned this matter to March 14, 2019, peremptory on Sinnaraja. He did not attend this hearing.
Similarly, Navdeep Bajwa, applying for a Vehicle-For-Hire Driver’s Licence, sent an email to the Tribunal office on January 8, 2019 requesting an adjournment.
The Tribunal adjourned this matter to March 14, 2019. Bajwa did not attend this hearing.
Finally, the estate of Hrand Zakaria, Lina Zakaria, Estate Trustee, holding two Taxicab Owner’s Licences asked for and received extensions of time to dispose of the plates until November 7, 2019. The City did not oppose the extension as most of the paperwork has been completed with only one outstanding issue that should be cleared up soon.
On January 17, 2019, the TLT heard two matters, one of which involved Taxi News, which for ethical reasons we cannot report on directly. However much of what was discussed is contained in Duffy’s Domain this month, an opinion column, where it is felt these matters can be discussed.
In the only other other case scheduled for the 17th, Deshan Yogarajah, applying for a Tow Truck Driver’s Licence, withdrew his application.