Taxi drivers in Quebec are frustrated by a government decision to amend Bill 100 at the last minute to accommodate Uber with a 90-day pilot program. Unions had previously said they were cautiously optimistic of the bill, but feared the government would cave to Uber before it was voted on.
The regulations proposed by the Quebec government were surprisingly harsh compared to other Canadian municipalities. Bill 100 states that all Uber drivers must have taxi driver licenses and adequate auto insurance. The company said it would have to leave if the legislation was passed and proposed a 90-day pilot that was ultimately accepted.
In its original guise, Bill 100 was going to be passed with little opposition. However, allowing Uber its three month period meant there was last minute opposition and the majority ruling Liberal government had to force the vote through.
Bill 100 still exists in its original form and still has harsh consequences of $25,000 fines for drivers who do not adhere to it. However, it will not come into action until the 90-day pilot is over, and taxi drivers are already pointing out that this means the government has given Uber a free pass to operate illegally and unregulated for three months.
Unions are also worried that this late concession shows that the Quebec government cannot move forward with its plans and will keep conceding to Uber. All eyes will be on the end of the 90-day pilot program when the Liberals must decide what the next move will be.