Uber has been pushing for Canadian municipalities to recognize the company as a separate entity compared to traditional taxi services, and is pushing for Quebec to see the company as a “distinct model”.
Other cities have not yielded to Uber’s recommendations, instead creating regulations that place the company alongside taxi services. This has angered the ride-hailing service and in some instances Uber has pulled out of markets instead of accepting regulations. The general manager of Uber Quebec has urged the city not make the same decision and recognize Uber as something separate.
The company has long argued that it should not be regulated in the same way as a taxi service as it is a technology company that merely provides an application gateway for passengers to connect with freelance drivers.
Jean-Nicolas Guillemetter has said the company will halt operations in Quebec if the government’s regulations are too strict. The province is due to reveal its legislation plans for ride-sharing companies on May 12, and will likely mirror other cities by demanding vehicle checks, background checks, confirmed legitimate insurance, and Class 4 licenses for drivers.
Speaking to CBC Montreal, Guillemette said “The goal is to stay here and offer the same service we’ve been offering for two years.”
The Quebec general manager claimed that Transport Minister Jacques Daoust is aiming to shut the company down by placing regulations that a close to taxi companies and too strict. It is arguable that the company leaving Quebec is not a bad thing, Uber is an illegal and unregulated and in some ways the situation is win-win for the province.
If Uber leaves, a rouge operation is no longer operating in Quebec, but if it agrees with regulations then the province will reap the economic rewards.