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Quebec taxi drivers want to take Uber, province to court over industry reform

WATCH ABOVE: The CAQ adopted the taxi reform bill last week, much to the dismay of taxi drivers. On Tuesday, a law firm representing the taxi industry announced plans to once again launch a lawsuit against the Quebec Government. The 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. Global's Phil Carpenter has more.

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.

READ MORE: Quebec adopts taxi reform legislation at the last minute

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.

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READ MORE: Quebec premier says he could invoke closure to pass taxi bill

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.

Quebec taxi drivers worry new legislation will leave them out in the cold
Quebec taxi drivers worry new legislation will leave them out in the cold

—With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise