March 20, 2019 2:42 pm
Updated: March 20, 2019 8:25 pm

Legault government to invest $500 million in Quebec taxi industry

WATCH: The CAQ government hopes to modernize the embattled taxi industry with its latest Bill 17. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, taxi drivers have been struggling since Uber came to Quebec.


The Legault government will give $500 million in compensation to taxi drivers.

Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel made the announcement Wednesday by tabling his bill that will upset the passenger transportation industry if it is passed.

The proposed measure will help taxi drivers, he added.

“I really believe it will be good for them and good for the industry,” Bonnardel said.

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READ MORE: Montreal taxi drivers say they need to save their industry from extinction

The government will compensate drivers whose taxi license value has fallen over the past few years since the arrival of Uber and other technological applications.

Bonnardel, however, admitted that the amount will not be enough.

“It’s an important compensation that we be giving to all in the taxi industry.”

In its bill, Quebec is committed to deregulating the passenger transportation industry, so that there are fewer costly requirements at the expense of taxi drivers and that they can also benefit from dynamic pricing, like Uber.

The $500-million injection is far less than what is needed to compensate the permit owners, official opposition transport critic Gaétan Barrette said.

READ MORE: Taxi drivers’ class-action lawsuit against Quebec government gets green light

“It’s not modernization. It’s an act of war,” said Abdallah Homsy, a spokesperson for the Quebec City taxi industry.

Taxi drivers in a Quebec City also voiced their opposition to the proposed bill at a news conference.

“It’s a demolition of the industry there is nothing in this bill which is good for us,” Homsy said.

WATCH BELOW: New safety measures for Montreal taxis

— With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise and The Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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