MONTREAL – The Regroupement Des Travailleurs Autonomes Métallos (RTAM), which represents 4,000 taxi drivers and owners across the province, announced Sunday they will be filing an injunction to permanently ban Uber and Uber X.
Taxi drivers are counting on this to be the move that will dethrone the popular ride-sharing service.
“Because we don’t live in a banana republic, we live in Canada,” a driver attending the assembly said.
Marc-Antoine Cloutier, the lawyer filing the injunction this Tuesday said he is hopeful the whole process will wrap up in the next six months.
In spite of many efforts and violent opposition in cities such as Toronto and Edmonton, the taxi industry has not managed to shut down the application.
In fact, Edmonton has recently legalized Uber.
But because Montreal has a special legislation regarding ride-sharing, local taxi drivers are hoping their efforts will reap rewards.
“The ride-sharing is well-defined in Quebec which is nowhere else in the world,” Benoit Jugand, a spokesperson for the RTAM said.
“So we have a law that actually says that it’s illegal to actually practice that kind of work and we’re going to make it apply.”
In spite of that, critics say the government hasn’t made their position clear enough yet.
“It’s truly a shame because how can you accept illegal transport like that when you have honest citizens that are doing the same business but they are paying their taxis, their income taxes, they’re paying their insurance,” argued Martine Ouellet, the Parti Quebecois’ transportation critic.
READ MORE: Toronto taxi driver compares Uber to ISIS
In a statement to Global News, Uber wrote:
“This request for a protectionist suit is without merit and aims at preserving the monopoly of the taxi industry to the detriment of consumers. (…) We will continue to work with the government to find solutions that will benefit the population of Quebec and that will ensure a fair regulatory framework for all stakeholders.”
Taxi drivers will also stage a protest that will take them off the job on February 10 while they spot and denounce any Uber drivers.
On February 11, taxi fares will be offered at half the price as a way to “show their appreciation to customers.”
WATCH BELOW: Montreal taxis and Uber