Uber negotiations in Quebec: will they stay or will they go?

Click to play video: 'Uber’s grace period ends in Quebec'
Uber’s grace period ends in Quebec
WATCH ABOVE: At midnight, Quebec's new taxi legislation will go into effect, forcing Uber drivers to either buy or rent a taxi permit. Global's Raquel Fletcher reports from the Liberal pre-session caucus meeting in Gatineau – Sep 7, 2016

The Quebec government says it isn’t quite sure if Uber will continue to operate in the province.

At midnight, Quebec’s new taxi legislation, Bill 100, will go into effect, forcing Uber drivers to either buy or rent a taxi permit.

If not, they could start facing harsh penalties.

READ MORE: Uber driver’s car seized, says he was entrapped by SAAQ’s highway patrol

Uber drivers have been protesting the bill and insisting taxi permits, which can cost $200,000, are expensive.

Quebec Transport Minister Laurent Lessard said negotiations with the ride-sharing company have stalled, despite the three-month grace period to allow for negotiations.

READ MORE: Quebec Transport Minister won’t back down on essential items in Uber legislation

“I said to them, it’s like you want to make McDonald’s hamburgers. You want to make Burger King hamburgers. You want to make Harvey’s hamburgers,” Lessard told reporters at the government’s caucus meeting in Gatineau.

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“And at the same time, you want to make your own hamburgers. So, when you want to make all the hamburgers, there’s maybe a problem for those who are making them already.”

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WATCH: The Uber debate in Quebec.

Lessard said he wasn’t sure if it meant the end of the road for Uber if the province isn’t able to cut a deal with the ride-sharing company.

READ MORE: Montreal taxi drivers protest ‘lack of progress’ on regulating Uber

“I never said [there was no agreement],” insisted Premier Philippe Couillard when pressed on the negotiations with Uber.
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“We’re still negotiating with them.”

READ MORE: Uber ready to suspend Quebec services during Bill 100 hearings

As of midnight, anyone caught driving an Uber without a taxi permit could face fines of up to $25,000.

Uber has long maintained it will not comply with the conditions and will leave the province if necessary.

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