The last day of the National Assembly in Quebec turned into a slog as the Liberal government pushed through its dividing Bill 100, which would see ride-sharing companies like Uber regulated in the province. The result meant the government was forced to use a closure motion, which was described as undemocratic by the opposition.
However, Bill 100 has now been passed and its effectiveness will be put to the test in 90 days, when an agreed pilot period with Uber comes to an end.
Bill 100 was agreed upon by all parties and the taxi industry leading into the vote. Québec Solidaire withdrew its support late on, citing that a recent amendment to the bill is unfair on the taxi industry.
In its original draft, Bill 100 would have forced Uber drivers to have the same licensing and insurance requirements as taxi drivers starting from June 10. Uber disagreed and said it would have to leave the city if the bill was passed. The company offered numerous counter-proposals until the government agreed on the 90-day pilot.
The taxi industry has welcomed Bill 100 for taking a fair and form line against ride-sharing, but unions admitted they were worried the government would cave to Uber’s demands. While the taxi license and insurance stipulations remain, it is clear that the pilot program gives Uber a window of opportunity.
Québec Solidaire says during this time taxi drivers will still have to hold their required permits and any permanent amendment to Bill 100 would be unfair. The retraction of support from Québec Solidaire meant the Liberals had to force the bill through, cutting the debate and moving straight to a vote… the Liberals have a majority in Quebec.
In its current form, Bill 100 will require “remunerated passenger transportation services,” including UberX, to buy a taxi permit or face stiff fines.
Anyone offering taxi transportation services without holding a permit would face fines of $2,500 to $25,000. The company could be fined up to $50,000.