Is John Tory facing an Uber battle at city hall?
WATCH ABOVE: (Nov 18) The city of Toronto has filed a court injunction to shut down Uber within city limits. Cindy Pom reports.
TORONTO – Is John Tory facing a council fight over Uber?
The city’s executive director of Municipal Licensing and Standards Tracey Cook announced plans on Tuesday to seek a court injunction to stop Uber from operating in Toronto. But shortly after Cook announced plans to stop Uber operations in Toronto to the media, Tory issued a written statement that appeared to undermine the city’s plan, claiming services like Uber were “here to stay.”
“It is time our regulatory system got in line with evolving consumer demands in the 21st century. As Mayor, I intend to see that it does, while being fair to all parties, respecting the law and public safety,” he said in the statement.
His comment has drawn fire from at least one city councillor. Councillor Janet Davis took to Twitter Wednesday morning criticizing the mayor-elect, suggesting Tory’s “public attack” on city staff was “not the right thing” to do.
Tory says he expects to be briefed on the court proceedings but does not believe the courts are the best place to deal with Uber. He wouldn’t say he would order staff to reverse the plan but told the media he would encourage staff to “accommodate progress and new technology” like Uber or Hailo.
“I will want to encourage them, with whatever participation they want from me, to find ways to sit down with the Ubers and the Hailos and others of the world – and the taxi industry and the public and find a way to both accommodate progress and new technology that makes people’s lives better and, at the same time, the overriding need we always have to have for a fair and safe transportation system,” he said.
Tory insists he is not suggesting “that we can have the Wild West here without any regulation at all. It’s not viable.” He says any accommodation of taxi app technologies has to be considered under a regulatory system.