Quebec taxi drivers threaten to strike on Monday

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WATCH: The CAQ government hopes to modernize the embattled taxi industry with its latest Bill 17. – Mar 20, 2019

Quebec taxi drivers are threatening to go on strike as of Monday, saying they are furious with the Legault government’s proposed plan to deregulate part of the taxi industry.

“We are going on strike Monday morning at 7 a.m.,” said Serge Lebreux, spokesperson for the Association des taxis des régions du Québec. “It will affect all regions of Quebec.

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“We are quite united in the circumstances — the regions speak with a single voice. Everyone is on the starting blocks, everyone is cranked up, ready to do whatever it takes to defend their pension fund, their retirement.”

Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel announced earlier this week a reform that includes ending the exclusive reserved territories for taxis. A driver will need to have a Class 5 license rather than a Class 4C license, as is currently the case.

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Lebreux said the proposed plan “is downright expropriation” of the drivers who paid thousands of dollars for their taxi licence.

Drivers are also scheduled to meet in Montreal to discuss the situation on Sunday.

Abdallah Homsy, a spokesperson for several drivers, reports that his colleagues are angry at the proposed reform. He says the drivers have nothing left to lose and the situation “will degenerate very quickly.”

— With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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