Taxi drivers are demanding $1.5 billion from the Quebec government and Uber to compensate them for the losses they will incur with deregulation of the taxi industry.
Lawyers representing some 22,000 taxi drivers and owners announced the relaunch of three class-action lawsuits on Tuesday morning in Montreal after the province adopted Bill 17 last week.
They are asking the courts to rule on two issues: to determine whether the Quebec government and Uber are responsible for the losses incurred by the industry, and whether the bill represents an expropriation and, if so, what the value is.
The petitioners object to the government’s choice to repay the amounts they paid when they purchased their taxi permits instead of the value of those permits when Uber arrived in the market.
They also claim compensatory amounts for the loss of income resulting from the arrival of a ridesharing competitor free from taxi regulations.
Quebec added more money to the payout already offered by both the Couillard government and the Legault government. It now adds up to a total of about $800 million in compensation.
—With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise