Apr 15, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Debate on the proposed Vehicle-For-Hire Bylaw resumes at Toronto City Hall this morning, when members of the Municipal Licensing and Standards committee meet for a second day.

The meeting had to be moved to council chambers yesterday, after more than 100 members of the public signed up to speak at the meeting.

“Whoever wrote this report should be fired,” said one frustrated taxi driver reacting to the proposed bylaw, which was designed by city staff and presented last week by Municipal Licensing and Standards Executive Director Tracey Cook. The goal is to level the playing field for cab drivers and ride sharing services such as Uber.

People representing the taxi industry are less than impressed by the plan which is endorsed by Mayor John Tory.

“We shouldn’t allow a company which doesn’t follow regulations, who always, and will always break the law to come and dictate to this greatest city in the world of how they should run their businesses,” said taxi industry representative Sam Moini.

Yesterday’s meeting began with a charged statement from committee chair Cesar Palacio, who warned that “this item is not going to be hijacked by any member of city council.”

Palacio is a member of Mayor Tory’s executive committee, and under unique pressure to push the reforms through.

Final approval is up to full Toronto City Council, which meets next on May 3rd.

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