Uber has laid out a set of proposals for operating legally in Quebec and said it is willing to cease operations in the province for the time it takes to work with the local government to find a solution. However, the company has also said that it will leave the market entirely if the current proposals in Bill 100 are passed.
Quebec Transport Minister Jacques Daoust has met Uber’s goodwill with skepticism and says it is shared by the legislature, while the local taxi industry remains unimpressed.
“In terms of how much taxi permits represent, it’s very marginal,” Daoust said.
While Uber is willing to work with the government, Daoust hinted that the company would have to comply with the current taxi permit system. Some drivers have to pay up to $200,000 for a taxi permit, and giving Uber drivers an easier passage to a license would be unfair and “erode” the current permit system.
The province is currently in talks with Uber, but taxi companies and their representatives are not being as diplomatic with the company. Guy Chevrette, head of a taxi lobby in Quebec, said that the company is acting like “a hardened criminal” and that it is unlikely to accept the proposals in Bill 100.
“[Uber] behaves like a hardened criminal,” he said. “It knows it exists in a law-based society. It knows we have laws and rules. Someone who doesn’t respect laws and rules, what are they? They’re robbers,” he said.
“They steal our taxes,” he said. “I’m ashamed that our government is taking so much time to stop a thief,” he said.