City of Toronto Argues in Court for Uber to be Shut Down

The City of Toronto began its day in court Monday morning versus Uber, with its legal team seeking a permanent injunction to shut down the service altogether, according to The Toronto Star.

Justice Sean Dunphy questioned whether it was a judge’s decision or not to shut down Uber, as he noted  to city lawyer Michel Wright, “The question is not whether you have jurisdiction to regulate,” following with “My question is whether you have exercised that jurisdiction. Is it my job to fill in the gaps of the legislation?”

Dunphy questioned whether Uber should be responsible for the difficulty of the city to shut down all drivers breaking local bylaws, while also raised concerns whether or not the smartphone service should be considered a taxi brokerage.

The Judge gave the example that if the city were to regulate businesses that sold food, would they shut down a transaction if a resident were to order Cheerios from Amazon?

As the court case was in process, taxi drivers in the city protested outside for a second time outside City Hall, claiming Uber is unfair competition for local companies.

Uber has applied for a taxi brokerage license for its taxi operations, which does not cover UberX service, which allows citizens to use their own private vehicles and offer rates at roughly 20 percent lower than licensed city taxis.

Toronto Mayor John Tory previously stated he wants Uber and other local companies “to come to the table and do what’s right for the people of this city—the people who are paying the fares.”

Local cab companies such as Beck Taxi scoffed at the comment at the time, stating “the idea of having that conversation with a company that is operating illegally is not acceptable for us.” Beck Taxi last month launched an updated iPhone app to allow in-app payments via credit card and PayPal, to simulate the convenience of Uber’s app.

What do you think of Uber in Toronto?