Quebec Introduces Legislation to Make Uber Comply with Taxi Laws

Uber will be facing more heat in Quebec, as the province’s transportation minister proposed new rules today for the taxi industry, to level the playing field for all taxi companies, including ridesharing companies.

Jacques Daoust tabled the highly anticipated bill this morning in the province’s National Assembly, in which he says aims to ensure all companies follow the rules, and not just Uber, reports CBC News:

“I don’t know if they will walk out of Quebec,” he said about Uber. “It’s their decision. It’s not my decision. They decided to come to Quebec, if they decide to leave Quebec, it’s a private-sector company. It’s their decision.”

The proposed act, if passed would see companies like Uber require taxi permits or face fines. Anyone operating taxi transportation services without one would see fines ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, with companies potentially getting up to $50,000 fines.

Other parts of the legislation would see the province control the number of taxi permits for specific areas, which would include Montreal. Last fall, Uber revealed Montrealers were using Uber for 300,000 rides per month.

Fare pricing would be determined by the Commission des transports du Québec, varying by area and whether hails are by an app or not.

The province would gain new powers to punish drivers that fail to comply, including the power to suspend a driver’s license. Also, all drivers would be required to accept electronic payments, not just cash.

Uber has previously stated if Quebec’s rules are too heavy handed, they would leave the province.

Meanwhile, as expected, the taxi industry lauded the rules. Guy Chevrette, spokesman for the Quebec taxi coalition, called Uber an “arrogant” foreign company on Thursday morning, adding it has threatened the lives of thousands of cab drivers.

It’s not looking good for Uber in Quebec right now. Yesterday, a Quebec Superior Court Judge ruled in favour of Revenu Québec, allowing the latter to open and examine documents it seized from a May 2015 raid on the ridesharing company’s offices, alleging the company had violated tax laws.

Uber spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue told CBC News “We acknowledge this initial ruling about Revenu Québec’s ability to examine the items they seized last year,” adding “As we have stated, Uber would comply to revisions to the law that would amend the $30,000 small supplier exception and require sales tax to be charged on every dollar earned by driver-partners.”

The proposed legislation in Quebec is opposite of what happened in Toronto earlier this month, when the city approved new ridesharing regulations to make UberX legal in the city.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Nick

    As a Quebec resident I can honestly say that Quebec can be a real corrupt shithole sometimes. Instead of modernizing the industry, they chose to bury their heads and fight competition instead of embracing it. But I guess that’s nothing new for Quebec.

  • Jay

    Quebec is where progress goes to die

  • Brad Fortin

    Can’t wait to see how many people cry that a level playing field is somehow a bad thing. “Oh no, everyone has to follow the same laws, this is going to be awful!” Right.

  • Ron

    Quebec is just one big shit hole of a place. I mean they actually have a language police.

  • johnnygoodface

    I don’t know where you live, but I too could have the same kind of language about other provinces, but I don’t. It’s called respect! Each have its strenghts and weaknesses, and no province is perfect. But to call one a “big shit hole” is simply mean and narrow minded.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    I love how Quebec always has to be “different”. Well they’re different alright. Corrupt, arrogant, self serving & self righteous f***ing pricks! I say good riddance to bad rubbish & pray for the day they finally get off the shitter & vote to leave Canada. They’d be doing the rest of Canada a massive favour by leaving and taking the biggest have not province out of Confederation which has been the biggest boondoggle going on in Canada for far too many years now but that’s what you get when you vote in Quebecers as PM’s. Uber will suffer nothing & is better off by leaving that pompous province where everything is better there than the rest of Canada.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    quebec happens to be the home of what we could call arguably the proudest canadians in the country… its not easy being a federalist there you must keep that in mind

    also, wanting them to leave without partition is irresponsible

  • Crosseyedmofo

    if quebec taxis didnt reek like shit, the passengers had a bill of rights and if credit card machines didnt magically break when you reach your destination, id agree with you about a level playing field

  • Brad Fortin

    Current taxis may have problems, but allowing new companies to do the same job without following the same regulations is not a way to solve the problem.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    other cities have figured it out, there was no middle ground or negotiation, this is just another example of quebec being anti business

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Sorry but I guess we agree to disagree.

  • Decodering

    The thread has pretty much died out since the first comments were posted a couple of days ago, but I wanted to respond to the uncalled-for comments about Quebec. As an anglophone in Quebec, yes, there are some things that bother me about living here. But I’ve had enough exposure to francophone culture to know that there are definitely two sides to the Confederacy story and to the interpretation of historical events.

    The core reason why Quebecers so fiercely defend their culture is that there really is a threat of being swallowed up by the English-speaking world. Unfortunately, the world is such that laws are required to protect the language. Up until the 1980s, all (and I really mean all) signage was in English. Imagine living in a place where you were part of the linguistic majority but your environment didn’t reflect that. Imagine being part of a linguistic majority but almost all of the best professional opportunities were pretty much offered to members of a linguistic minority. To put it in perspective, today we decry how hard it is for many women to climb professional ladders and attain a high level of influence in companies and government. That’s how it was for French-speaking Quebecers. And that history is too recent for it not to weigh on how they feel today.

    One doesn’t have to agree with everything a provincial government does to otherwise think of it as leading a shithole. With which other province is everyone in agreement that everything it does is beyond criticism? I can’t think of any.

    One last thought: The derogatory comments about Quebec only reinforce the negative perceptions French-speakers can have of the English-speaking part of Canada, thereby giving Quebecers ammunition for feeling like they can’t find common ground with the provinces and territories that make up the Confederacy and that no one will be there to back them up.

    What the world needs more of is compassion and understanding, not vitriol, prejudice, and enmity.