February 19, 2016 12:09 am
Updated: February 19, 2016 6:41 am

Uber strikes back in Quebec

WATCH ABOVE: Representatives from Uber were in Quebec City Thursday to take part in the hearings to analyze the province's taxi industry and ride-sharing services.

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MONTREAL – For the first time since the taxi industry declared war on Uber, the ride-sharing service spoke out about its merits; not just for clients, but for Uber drivers as well.

One driver, who preferred to go by the name ‘Gisele,’ told reporters “if I didn’t have Uber, I wouldn’t even be able to put food on my table.”

She uses the ride-sharing service to supplement her pension.

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READ MORE: Montreal taxi drivers egg Uber car during downtown protest

A recent petition launched by Uber had been signed by over 50,000 people.

It’s a clear sign that people are demanding a change, according to Uber Montreal’s general manager Jean-Nicolas Guillemette.

“People in Quebec want more alternatives to move around their city,” he said.

On the other side of the fence, four taxi owners met with the economic crime squad of the Sûreté du Québec, accompanied by Québec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir.

They filed a complaint accusing Uber drivers of fraud.

WATCH: Taxi drivers egg Uber

Uber is hoping Montreal will follow Edmonton’s example, the first Canadian city to legalize the ride-sharing service.

The company pays $70,000 a year to operate in the city, as well as an additional six cents per ride.

Experts insisted regulating Uber will only benefit everyone involved.

“Uber should be able to compete on service,” said Barry Eidlin, a sociologist from McGill University.

“If they really believe that they are the innovative new product they say they are, they should be able to compete and still provide a decent working environment for people who drive.”

No matter who will win the fight, it’s clear that Uber is changing the way Quebecers commute.

READ MORE: Quebec hearings into taxi industry and Uber begin

Despite the fight to stop them, they’ve parked themselves into this province’s world of transportation and it is in the hands of the government to decide whether they’ll carve a space for them.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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