Leamington Taxi Companies Watching The Mail

A decision that could see all taxi companies in Leamington lose their licencing is due in the mail.

A written decision is expected after appeal hearings were held on Monday.

Four taxi companies are in non-compliance of the town's new taxicab by-law — approved at the end of 2016.

Three of the companies needed to have site-plan approval by June 30 for new parking arrangements now that cabs are no longer allowed to park on municipal roads or lots, but missed the deadline. Another company is on the wrong side of the by-law for its cabs reportedly doing just that — parking in municipal lots and on roadways like on-street spots in uptown Leamington.

Director of Legal and Legislative Services, Ruth Orton, says the Appeal Committee understands what's at stake in rendering a decision.

"I think the committee did indicate that it was a difficult decision for them to be making," says Orton.

She says the by-law was updated to address resident and taxi company complaints and concerns.

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The Appeal Committee Hearing convenes on the issue of taxi licencing on August 21, 2017. (Photo by Angelo Aversa/CTV News)

"The by-law was really put in place to address all those concerns and give them a level playing field which is what they asked for," says Orton, adding the committee has a few options to consider. "Revoke, to issue suspensions or to really do nothing — they could extend the condition, but in all cases all of theses licenses expire at the end of October."

The October expiration of taxi licenses in Leamington means regardless of the Appeal Committee decision, the new by-law will need to be adhered to if the current cab companies want to stay in business in town.

"Well there would be no revising of the by-law prior to that time, so in order to comply with the by-law, they would have to have their appropriate parking and site plan approval already — that puts them in a difficult position," says Orton.

Speaking to AM800 News ahead of the hearing, Nader's Taxi owner Imad Alaskar feels the designated parking the new by-law requires should be deal with by owner of the building and not the company leasing the property.

"If there's something wrong with the building, they don't want us to use it it — like a taxicab company — they should talk to the landlord and let us know to move from that place," says Alaskar. "We can go to look for someplace else."

Orton says what administration heard from the companies represented at the hearing was — confusion.

"They did not understand the condition, that it was not brought to their attention, that they had problems retaining consultants." says Orton.

While no firm timeline has been given, Orton expects the written decisions to be given to the companies sooner rather than later.

Nader's Taxi had their hearing set for Monday adjourned and will now be rescheduled to allow for the company's layer to attend. Sun Parlor, Leamington Yellow Taxi and Leamington Taxi were all represented at the Monday hearing.