Deregulating will bring us back to chaos

Minister Bonnardel, I am writing to you today to express my dismay at the tabling of the Taxi Industry Reform Bill, Bill 17.

This bill is the equivalent of an expropriation whose owner had a large mortgage and which will be compensated for a sum much less than the value of his property. This person ends up with a huge debt and more house … and he has to relocate. An aberration simply!

I do not understand the argument that taxi drivers (non-owners) will save, because they will not have to pay for renting a license on a weekly basis.

What these taxi drivers were renting was not just the license, but a car equipped with all the electronic equipment needed to make a taxi and whose owner is a member of a Coop that provided him with the calls. The owner of the license pays the mortgage of his license (the value of which will now be zero), the car, his maintenance, the plates, the monthly tax to the taxi Coop (about $ 440) and the insurance premiums that are over $ 1,000 a year. Oh! I forgot it will now save $ 750 annually for registration (about $ 1000 currently for the T plate compared to about $ 250 for a standard car). A whole economy!

Are we to understand that the minister is encouraging non-owner taxi drivers to work for Uber with their own cars? Can you imagine the number of Uber cars going on the streets? This driver will however have to pay 25% of his pay to Uber and assume all the costs of the car. I doubt that it will win compared to renting a taxi car.

The government is encouraging a company whose 75% of the income is expatriated to the Netherlands to avoid taxes in Quebec and Canada unlike taxi companies (intermediaries) doing business in Quebec and paying taxes here. This is Quebec Inc. of the CAQ?

Towards a monopoly of Uber

It is very badly to know the file of the taxi. What will happen are the bankruptcies of owners, intermediaries (the Coop de Québec is already in financial difficulties) and human tragedies, but the minister seems to be giving up. Uber will be able to take the monopoly and charge the big prices to the users. I guess that’s the benefit to the customers you’re talking about?

You should take advice (not only from Uber) from Transport Commission professionals who are very familiar with the situation before the imposition of quotas.

Toutes les règles, trop lourdes selon vous, qui entouraient le taxi avaient été mises en place pour corriger un chaos dans cette industrie. Déréglementer nous conduira au même chaos. Vous pourrez admirer votre œuvre dans quelques années et ça arrivera, j’en suis certaine, avant la fin de votre premier mandat. Bonne chance!

I am extremely disappointed with this bill, which puts on the street honest citizens (many of whom are immigrants) who have followed the existing rules, created by the government itself, to enter an industry legally and who are cheated by this same government to allow an actor, who exports his income abroad tax-free, to take the whole place without any constraint. Finally, the financial compensation offered to taxis is a grant for the installation of Uber without constraints.

This is certainly not an example of social justice. Tell me, is this the way to do the CAQ to better integrate immigrants? Is this the way to do CAQ to create wealth (for Uber)? Is this the way to do the CAQ to encourage entrepreneurship?

We are still using the argument of new technology to justify this massive destruction of the taxi industry. The new technology also exists in taxis (Taxi Coop mobile application). New technology is just a tool for ordering a car. The new technology does not transform the main activity of the taxi, which is to transport a customer in a safe way from point A to point B. That’s a taxi and that’s what was framed by a series of measures to avoid the chaos that prevailed there previously.

In closing, I give my full support to taxis that will use pressure tactics. They are cornered and have no other choice. When we bankrupt people, we should expect very strong reactions. For my part, such an injustice must be denounced loud and clear!

I hope that my message will be read and especially heard.

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