'It makes no sense:' Taxi drivers protest proposed legislation

Dozens of taxi drivers gathered at Trudeau Airport on Mon., Aug. 26, 2019 to protest Bill 17, which they said punishes them while promoting companies like Uber and Lyft.

Dozens of taxi drivers from across Quebec gathered in front of Trudeau Airport on Monday to protest a provincial bill that would deregulate the taxi industry and severely reduce the value of taxi permits.

Members of the taxi industry have said the bill punishes them while promoting companies such as Uber and Lyft.

The Quebec government has said it will compensate taxi permit holders but Taxi Owners of Montreal spokesperson Hassan Kattoua said the formula used to calculate the compensation is punitive.

“In 2014 the value of the permit was around $200,000 to $220,000 for all permit holders,” he said. “What (Transport Minister Francois) Bonnardel is suggesting, he wants to pay the value that the owners paid for their permit. Some people paid $20,000 for their permit. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

The drivers also called for uniform regulations on things such as classes of driving license and insurance.