Edmonton Council Chambers Cleared as Uber Debate Overheats, Taxi Drivers Asked to Leave


This afternoon, Edmonton City council chambers were cleared as taxi drivers started chanting “shame, shame” in the debate against Uber.

The outburst among the taxi drivers started after council voted down on a motion to postpone the debate until after the Ward 12 by-election is held on February 22. Dozens of taxi drivers backed the council chambers after holding a rally outside.

Mayor Don Iveson urged drivers to allow council to debate the proposals. When order in council chambers could not be restored, the chambers were cleared and all members of the public and media to leave.

The meeting resumed after 3 p.m. with only members of the media, city staff and councillors inside. Uber representatives and taxi drivers were asked to remain outside.

Councillors are looking at recommendations that could make Edmonton the first Canadian city to legalize Uber. In a report, administration recommends the city deregulate taxi fares for pre-arranged trips to allow taxis to compete with Uber.

Council has been trying to deal with Uber ever since it started operating in Edmonton just over a year ago. The ride-sharing company says the bylaw doesn’t apply because Uber is a technology company, not a transportation company.

The report also recommends the city should charge a licensing fee to Uber,  instead of charging the individual drivers. Uber drivers will have to carry commercial vehicle insurance.

[via CBC News]

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  • johnnygoodface

    This doesn’t help the Taxi drivers image… and that’s a good thing!!! Keep on the good work guys… with any luck you’ll push away any kind of support

  • ComplacencyKills

    I’m not completely sold on Uber and there practices, but the taxi industry is in such poor shape. It’s a lose-lose battle, but if customers were not being squeezed so thin, they wouldn’t be looking for cheaper alternatives

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Hey Vikram662…..tell me who/what you see in the photo above. Who is conspicuously absent?

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Excellent comment!

  • Vikram662

    It’s a picture full of a race that you and your Klan members hate.

  • Nuser

    Uber is here to stay. I think what we should instead is make them build data centre in Canada. Therefore all our data is stored in country. This helps Canada creates jobs and privacy.
    Also. Insurance companies should change all policy to ask whether they are driving for Uber. This makes it into a level playing field. Therefore taxi and Uber would compete fairly

  • Dominic Buteau

    One thing that really irks me about taxi drivers is that it is basically a monopoly of the terrible. Customer service whether in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg Vancouver etc… is mutually abhorrent. We can’t comment on an impartial platform and frankly the cost for the lousy customer service makes this a system that needs a BIG improvement. Yes Uber is not perfect but at least we can reward and complain about drivers and let other future individuals planning a ride share to be aware of their driver’s habits. At least we can feel at ease about this system. Also think about Airbnb ; before them you either had the option of travelling to an over priced hotel with very little connection to your destination or take a risk on Bnb without knowing the full scoop. I always use Airbnb. It is a system that constantly improves so I feel more at ease knowing what’s happening. Plus the system can mutually comment about the host as well as the guest which is an assurance for both parties.

  • Bafoon

    hey Vikram – I’m South Asian – like you – and let me say this – collectively as a race if I may say – stop playing the petty race card. its getting tiring.

    Is it true that majority of the cabbies across major cities in Canada are foreign nationals/immigrants? – Yes
    Is it true that the publicised stunts in Toronto (cabbie hanging onto the driving uber car???) and Edmonton seem to have caught S. Asians in camera/limelight? – Yes
    Did His Nibs or anyone else insinuate racism in stating the obvious? — NO!

    So why play this silly game. Call spade a spade. Don’t perpetuate hate mongering which doesn’t exist.

  • Widohmaker

    If the Taxi industry is hard pressed they should pool resources to develop a competing app to UBER.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Thank you so very much for your logic & common sense. I’m glad there are at least a few people on here who have an open mind (& not a small closed one) and are not opposed to having an open debate using their education, life experience & verbal & reasoning skills. It’s bloody refreshing. You my friend have an excellent rest of the week & weekend.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Can’t argue with your reasoning.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    You might want to see a Cosmetic surgeon & a proctologist. Cosmetic surgeon to remove that HUGE chip on your shoulder and a proctologist to remove that stick up your ass.

  • Vikram662

    1. You’re not like me
    2. No, you do not speak collectively for our race
    3. No one denied your first point
    4. No one denied your second point
    5. Here’s where your wrong, look at all the other replies on this post (and all other Uber related ones). Do you notice how everyone is saying “cabbie this, cab company that” while buddy over there is all “S. Asian this, S. Asian that”?

    It’s veiled racism.

    This is a way for him to get his aggression out. Go look at his comment history on Uber related posts. Same narrative, “S. Asian this, S. Asian that”.

    It’s no surprise that stuff like that goes over your head, hence you having such a fitting name.

  • Vikram662

    I’m calling the police.

  • Bafoon

    yikes! at least I’m not the guy up-voting my own post – keyboard warrior!

    And do you notice – how easy I make it for people like you to be presumptuous and “true-to”color” (YIKES!) – by just naming my “internet-avatar” some witty and self deprecating – lol. It works every time. You just can’t stop from stooping to a degenerate level, in effect, invalidating everything else you’re saying.

    You’re right. I’m not like you.

  • Bafoon

    oh – And, next time you lie about something that is search-able do a better job.

    How easy was it for me to look up His_Nibs posts on disqus and then just search for the work Asian – only to find him stating the obvious about a lot of SA drivers being cabbies in YVR.

    Is he a racist for calling out the obvious? Umm…No. I live in Toronto and I concur that majority of the drivers are from South Asia and Middle East. BLIMEY I AM RACIST, ALSO!

  • Vikram662

    You literally made no sense in your post. It’s just a bunch of jibber jabber. Anyways, did you go read you’re massa’s posts? He don’t care for you.

  • Vikram662

    Let’s start with subject 1.

    “Can’t wait to see all the South Asian & Middle Eastern cab drivers in Vancouver lose their minds when this finally gets here. Karma is a BITCH!”

    Now why get specific with race here? Why does he want only them to lose their minds?

    Also, let’s replace “S. Asian/Middle Eastern” black. Is more clear for your bafoon brain yet?

    A normal person wouldn’t pick out a particular race unless they had ulterior motives.

  • Jay Aulik

    Hey Vikram,

    I’m south Asian before you freak out!

    Cabbies need to understand innovation. They’ve been disorganized for years, this was coming for miles away!

    They’re making south Asians look bad. They should get organized rather then “shout” and cause a commotion. It makes hard working immigrants like my dad look bad. Change and adapt or get lost! How long did you think you job is safe anyways…..