TORONTO – The ongoing battle between city hall, UberX and Toronto’s taxi industry continues with a decision Wednesday to delay any legal action against the ride-sharing service.
“Our professional advice that we received from our lawyers and regulators was to the effect that we were not going to have the best chance at being successful in an injunction brought at this time,” Mayor John Tory said.
The city solicitor suggested an injunction application wouldn’t be heard until the summer if filed now.
“We are sending a clear message to Uber,” Coun. Janet Davis said. “We are quite prepared and we are directing our staff to launch an injunction at the right time.”
While councillors debated the matter, some representatives from the taxi industry began yelling and screaming inside the council chamber.
“They want to protect their family,” Toronto Taxi Association spokesman Sam Moini said. “That’s all they want to do. So you can’t blame them for how they reacted. They’re upset. And they have every right to be upset.”
The city’s taxi owners and operators have long been outspoken about Uber’s operations and its impact on the cab industry.
Last December, cabbies tied up traffic outside city hall in protest. There is speculation another protest could take place during next weekend’s NBA All-Star Game activities.
Toronto lost an attempt to ban UberX last year after a Superior Court judge ruled the transportation startup was operating within city bylaws.
City staff have since been working toward new regulations for Uber and the taxi industry, which are expected to be presented in the coming months.
“We’re doing the unavoidable,” Coun. Jim Karygiannis said. “We’re delaying again. The mayor’s office has been practicing delay, deny until the taxi industry dies.”
A new poll released by Nanos surveyed 400 Torontonians online and found 82 per cent thought new by-laws should be the priority while 8 per cent favoured an injunction to shut down Uber.
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