Mississauga was getting tough on Uber and ride-sharing companies, pushing the company in a similar fashion to Quebec. The city had drawn up a pilot program (something that was incidentally rejected in Quebec) that Uber agreed with, but that program came with the stipulation that Uber shut down operations in the Ontario city until the program is launched.
The city originally gave the company a week to shut down or the pilot program would be taken off the table, leaving Uber to deal with tough regulations or leave Mississauga. However, in a move that is likely to irk those who oppose Uber, such as the local taxi industry, the city council has reversed its decision and allowed Uber to continue its illegal and unregulated operations.
Councilor Pat Saito, who is leading the push for Uber’s regulation in Mississauga, had originally issued the warning to the company, but has now changed her mind. It is unclear whether she knew Uber would simply ignore the plea and continue operations, or whether the economic boon of the ride-sharing market is too enticing to pass up.
Saito said that she wants the program to progress and needs to make sure councilors can get on board.
“Things are changing on a daily basis. I wanted to get as much support on council for the pilot (as possible), and if that meant massaging the motion and making amendments that other councilors could support it if those changes were made, then I’m prepared to do it.”
The city has still been taking the fight to Uber during May however, with 50 charge laid against drivers before Saito changed the policy. Uber is still illegal in the city and fines being issued are as high as $25,000 for drivers and $50,000 for the company. Uber is fighting the charges in the courts, both for the company and its operatives.