It seems that once again Uber has managed to convince a government to accommodate its needs, with the company managing to strike a deal with Quebec to make an amendment to Bill 100. The bill will be voted on this week and originally stipulated that Uber drivers would need full taxi class licenses to operate in the province.
Uber said it would leave the market if the bill was passed, while taxi unions praised the government for its seemingly strict stance against the ride-sharing giant. However, those same unions expressed caution this week as they have seen Uber manage to get previous bills changed in other Canadian municipalities.
That caution was correct as the government in Quebec announced that it will indeed amend Bill 100, adding a point that some of the clauses (taxi license) be put on hold for 90 days. During this period the government and Uber will conduct a pilot program to see if the company can obey other criteria and to work on a compromise over licensing and insurance.
“We want to give ourselves a chance to be innovative and to face up to this reality of the 21st century,” said Transport Minister Jacques Daoust.
It is worth noting that the government is sticking to the requirement that all Uber drivers have full taxi licenses, or face fines of up to $25,000. However, this 90 day grace period rather suggests that a deal can be made between authorities and the company, although that remains to be seen.
In a statement, the head of Uber in Quebec, Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, commended the government on its “openness and engagement” in amending the bill, adding the company is confident a “fair compromise for all players” will be reached.
Guillemette said the “evolution of [Uber’s] approach in the last few weeks is proof of our deep desire to serve Quebecers.”