After enjoying a good month through January, Uber has come crashing back down to Earth during February as the company has been subject to Canadian authorities wrestling back control in the tug of war to find ways to regulate or ban the company.
Brampton City Council is the latest local municipality to target the U.S. based ride-sharing company, which connects riders with freelance drivers via a smartphone application. Brampton has weighed in on the debate and urged the company to stop its services in the city and across Toronto as a whole, at least until the city decides which regulation to place on the UberX service.
While Brampton says it is not planning any court action against the company, the 11-member council voted completely to request the suspension of UberX operations. The city said it will be a “show of good faith” while Toronto looks into its own vote to regulate Uber and make it legal in the city. Uber has already been requested to stop operations in the meantime, but refused to do so.
All the while, the company keeps towing a party line where it says it is willing to work with governments on regulations, but only if they are workable. This was the message coming from Uber again in the wake of Brampton’s vote:
Uber Canada spokesperson Susie Heath said they “look forward to continuing our work with officials in Brampton to modernize regulations to encourage innovation, put people first and create safe, reliable and affordable transportation options.”
“This is a victory for the residents of Brampton,” Dhillon said in a statement that glossed over the fact that the city is not actually forcing Uber to stop operations. “This decision is a good first step to guarantee the public’s safety and security, while maintaining fairness — that is our priority right now.”
Uber meanwhile is still pointing to the recent vote to legalize the company in Edmonton as proof that it can work with local authorities if regulations are workable. The San Francisco based technology company says it will be forced to pull out of Calgary as proposed regulations in that city do not match Uber’s expectations.