Taxi industry suspends pressure tactics after 'dramatic gesture' on live TV

Taxi protest downtown Montreal

Quebec's taxi industry says it is suspending all pressure tactics until further notice after a member harmed himself on live television.

An industry group says the decision was made today after the dramatic incident at the end of a live interview on the French-language LCN network with a taxi owner, just before 7 a.m. Friday. Moments after the interview ended, the guest stood up and cut his own wrist, saying he had nothing left to lose.

The network quickly cut away from the scene. The injury did not appear to be serious.

Taxi industry spokesperson Abdallah Homsy explained its decision was to protect taxi owners and drivers who are experiencing great psychological distress.

Taxi drivers have been protesting all week in Montreal and Quebec City, claiming the government's decision to overhaul the industry will drive many of them into bankruptcy.

Transport Minister François Bonnardel tabled Bill 17 last week in an attempt to modernize the province's taxi industry in response to ride-hailing applications like Uber, announcing it would get rid of a quota system.

Quebec had regulated the number of taxis permitted in each city to control competition and provide drivers a stable revenue.

The taxi industry has a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at Quebec City's Suicide Prevention Centre.

Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts is urged to call the Quebec Association for the Prevention of Suicide at 1-866-277-3553.

CJAD 800's Richard Deschamps contributed to this report.


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