Ex-taxi permit owner says he's been cheated out of government compensation

A Montreal man who used to be a taxi owner says he's been unfairly left out of the Quebec government compensation program and he doesn't know why. 

Louis Westernoff sold his five taxi permits in 2016 but didn't receive any compensation since the first phase of compensation was announced last August.

Westernoff called the government wondering where his share was.

"Their explanation was we paid you. And I said, No, you did not. You paid the owner now and they were, Ok, we paid you. But I said, No, I sold the company, I'm entitled to something. But they keep repeating, we paid you," said Westernoff in an interview with CJAD 800.

"They said, The new owner cashed (the cheque). I said, But the new owner is not entitled to the full compensation. They said, Oh well, somebody in some department does this calculation so therefore you're not eligible so they got paid, not you. Thank you. 'Bye."

Westernoff said he's owed as much as $121,000.

Trasnport Quebec said it can't comment on specific cases, adding that each one is handled on a case by case basis. All it said was that if you owned a permit between April 2014 and March 2018, you'd get compensation for each permit. For Westernoff, that would be just over two years. Multiple owners would also share the money. 

Westernoff is consulting a lawyer.

"It doesn't compute that they made this mistake," said Westernoff.