This isn’t the first time Uber has threatened to leave the province.
After hearing that the province was planning to impose stricter laws last year, the company argued it would need to close its bureau.
When asked how it felt about Uber’s threat to leave, the Quebec government seemed indifferent.
“If an international company is saying ‘you go my way or I’m leaving,’ I would just say ‘well, it’s too bad,’” said Jacques Daoust, then minister of transport, in May 2016.
Uber launched its services in Montreal in 2014, and it’s been a tumultuous few years for both the ride-hailing company and the taxi industry as a whole.
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Montreal’s taxi bureau started cracking down on the company in March 2015.
At the same time, the city of Montreal and province of Quebec announced the service was illegal because drivers don’t have permits and therefore don’t have to adhere to the same rules.
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Taxi drivers argued that they were losing clients and it was difficult for them to compete with online companies.
By the winter, Uber had started striking back, creating a petition of its followers and sharing stories of Quebecers who rely on its services.
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After several in Quebec City hearings, the Quebec government and Uber announced in September 2016 they had reached an agreement in principle on a pilot project to allow the ride-hailing service to continue operating.
Uber had said it was ready to pay provincial and federal taxes but insisted its drivers needed more flexibility to create their own schedules and argued they shouldn’t have to pay for expensive taxi permits.
Even so, a coalition representing taxi drivers filed several injunctions to have the deal suspended, as well as deem the service illegal.
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Each time, the request was denied.
By October 2016, Quebec’s pilot project with Uber was given the green light, despite the company saying it was scared to lose drivers because of “restrictive and complex” regulations.
Now, with the renewal of the pilot project on the line, Uber insists it cannot adhere to the Quebec’s rules, saying they are the strictest in the country.
Uber says if the government doesn’t “change its mind,” it will cease operations Oct. 14.