WATCH ABOVE: Ottawa cab driver refuses to move taxi for ambulance in profane rant
TORONTO – An Ottawa cab driver has been suspended after he went on a racist, profanity-laced tirade after refusing to move out of the way of an ambulance on Tuesday.
In the video that was posted to YouTube, an unidentified Capital Taxi driver is caught swearing at onlookers and a security guard who asked him to move his cab.
“I’m not f***ing moving nowhere,” the driver said, before a witness tries to reason with him by telling them an ambulance is en route with a female patient.
“I know I told them I will move, as soon as ambulance shows I will move.”
According to the YouTube user who uploaded the video, identified only as Justin M, the incident occurred Tuesday afternoon on Rideau St. in front of the Rideau Centre in Ottawa at 2:45 p.m.
At one point the driver calls a black security guard, who politely asks him to move his car, a “f***ing n****r.”
The president and CEO of Coventry Connections, the company that operates Capital Taxi, called the incident “very, very disturbing.”
“We haven’t seen anything like this and obviously the second the incident occurred we immediately suspended the driver, he cannot drive anymore,” said Hanif Patni.
“But we are bringing him in tomorrow and he is going to have a proper, fair hearing from us. We are wanting to know a little bit about what he was thinking because it was not your normal road rage incident by any stretch.”
Patni said the driver had been with the company for a few years, but should have known better than to go on such an aggressive and racist rant.
“Drivers who drive 10 hours a day tend to be a little more controlled. They spend so much time on the road they can’t afford to act irrationally and we train them so extensively,” he said.
“We’re going to look into it, but obviously there is no way he’s going to drive in the meantime and even after we’ve made our decision there’s going to be tough decisions to make unfortunately and we know he could very well lose his livelihood.”
Patni said that Ottawa cab drivers undergo a five-week full-time course that tackles issues such as road rage, before drivers are allowed to hit the streets.
“It’s much more than a bad day, the kind of expressions that were used were extraordinary,” Patni said of the incident.
“I’ve been here for 15 years and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it to be honest with you, so to say that it was unusual is an understatement.”
He said the company runs 18 taxi fleets in Ontario and moves about 18,000 people per day around the province in cabs.
“The people in our industry that work and drive for a living are very, very concerned right now and this is the last thing they needed,” he said.
“It reflects badly on them but most of them do such a good job. But we’ll deal with it and we’ll move forward.”