Councillor Jim Karygiannis Takes Fight Against Uber to the Streets

According to a report by The Star, Toronto councillor and the representative for Scarborough-Agincourt Jim Karygiannis, confronted an UberX driver on Friday outside a home in the city’s east-end. He followed a minivan to a house in his ward and told the driver that using the app to pick up fares was illegal.

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The source points out that according to a letter posted to Karygiannis’ website, the incident started when the councillor was meeting with a group of constituents and the driver pulled up to ask if they had ordered a taxi. The letter is addressed to Police Chief Mark Saunders and includes a picture Karygiannis snapped of the UberX vehicle. It asks the chief to “uphold the law” against UberX drivers, who Karygiannis accuses of “operating without a legitimate taxi permit.”

“We indicated that we had not. He then drove down the street, stopping in front of a home further down the street,” the statement says. “I went to speak to the driver and asked him why he was driving for UberX and was he not aware that UberX was an unlicensed operation and that he was breaking Ontario laws and municipal rules and regulations.”

Lauren Reyes-Grange, who summoned the UberX driver to pick her up from her parents’ home, said she was surprised when she came out of the house and saw a car parked across the driveway, blocking the UberX vehicle in. She described Karygiannis’ demeanor as “very aggressive, very angry”.

Reyes-Grange alleges that when her father told Karygiannis to get off his property, the councillor responded by telling them that Uber drivers do not have insurance to cover their passengers. “I’m just trying to protect you and your family from getting charged”, said Karygiannis. She also told the publication that she plans to file a complaint about the councillor with the city integrity commissioner.

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  • Lakh Jhajj

    These backward thinking politicians r ruining this country. Bec of people like him in the government we r paying the highest prices in cellphone and other utility bills.

  • FragilityG4

    How is the government responsible for us paying the highest cell phone prices? The only ones responsible is us. They offer the price and we pay it. If we all stand pat and say no that’s too much they would have to lower them, but we need the phones. We only have ourselves to blame.

  • GN

    What are we supposed to do? Be left in the dark with no cellphone service? The Government was established to regulate assholes like Rogers and Bell. But what are they doing? Sitting on their ass and complaining about Uber.

  • FragilityG4

    Do you really believe that? Since the Harper government came to be they have made several changes in order to entice new competition. From limiting spectrum from the incumbents to forcing fair pricing on airwave sharing. The problem is we want the best, the new guys WIND, and former Mobilicity/Public don’t offer the best as far as LTE and coverage zones. It was an uphill battle from the beginning because we demand the best. For instance I live close to an away zone boarder on WIND so if we’re to join I would be ding for roaming quite often. That’s not the best for me.
    As far as Uber goes as I stated on countless amounts of time, they need proper insurance to cover their drivers, passengers and other motorists/cyclist/pedestrians anyone who could be negatively affected if they get into an accident as of right now their personal insurance will not cover damages.

  • GN

    Of course I believe that. I have no doubt that Harper took some action in order to stimulate new competition, but it clearly wasn’t enough. We don’t demand the best, we demand a wireless industry in Canada that’s fair and that compares to the rest of the world. Are you seriously saying that what we pay to Wireless carriers is a fair price? And as for Uber; the government needs to step in and take in account these new technologies rather than outright ban them. I am not arguing that Uber doesn’t need proper insurance to protect their drivers and customers, I’m complaining that the government isn’t doing enough to allow fair competition between new technologies like Uber.

  • FragilityG4

    New technology or not is it not a taxi service? If yes, why should they be exempt from the same taxi guidelines, laws and taxes?
    What would you have the government do to stimulate more competition? Keeping in mind you need a private individual/company with a lot of money willing to risk it all in an upward battle. We all demand the best product over price; it’s unfortunate but true. If it weren’t true we would all be on WIND because it’s the absolute best value for your dollar. Drawbacks we can’t live without in most cases – Roaming zones, overall coverage and LTE.

  • GN

    I don’t think you understand what i’m saying… I never argued that Uber should be exempt from laws and taxes… I said that the government should get their shit together and figure out a way to regulate new technologies like Uber, AirBNB, Rover, etc. rather than shut them down. Why are you so against the future? Stop living in the past and embrace it.

  • FragilityG4

    The rules are there. This has nothing to do with the fact that you use an app. It’s about regulation and public protection. Uber has been defiant in following them thus, in the publics best interest, the only course of action is to shut them down. Uber believes the same rules and laws we follow don’t apply to them, do you agree with that? Keep in mind I hate the taxi industry a bunch of criminals. A cabby tried to rip me off on my wedding night!

  • GN

    The rules are there, but they’re outdated. Do you the that the judge who dismissed the city’s attempt to slap an injunction on Uber last month did so for no reason? That judge found that Uber has not breached the city’s CURRENT bylaws. I’m not sure what else you want? And when the hell did this conversation turn about Uber?

  • FragilityG4

    Perhaps you’re right about the bylaws being out dated. Their loophole is that no cash is transacted between rider and driver thus they are not a taxi service. Scammers really.
    The article is about Uber 😉