Taxi Union takes City to court over ride-sharing by-law

Ottawa's taxi union has filed a claim against the City of Ottawa in court, with the aim of overturning the City's ride-sharing by-law.

The by-law legalizing private transportation companies (PTCs) like Uber came into effect at the end of September 2016.

But Unifor Local 1688 president Pierre Nakhle says the law is hurting the taxi industry.

“We’re looking for fairness,” says Nakhle. “We chose to file this application to stop the by-law because we’re convinced this last by-law was unfair to the taxi industry.”

The lawsuit alleges the by-law gives an unfair advantage to PTCs and failed to take into account the impact it would have on the taxi industry.

In February, the city's community and protective services committee heard that Uber drivers logged 1.4-million trips in the first three months since the service became legal. Representatives from the taxi industry in the city had said at the time that their business had been devastated following the legalization of PTCs.

Nakhle says this next battle will remain strictly in the courtroom.

“We’re not the type of people to block the roads or do anything like that,” he says. “We look forward to pleasing the public as much as we can. We are not going to do anything to disturb the public at all.”

None of the claims in the filing have been tested in court.