Edmonton and Toronto mayors to work together on Uber policy
Both cities are working to legalize and regulate the controversial ride-booking company
The two Canadian cities on the front lines of regulating Uber plan to work together, both mayors announced Thursday.
Edmonton and Toronto city councils are both considering regulations that would legalize the use of the app, and both are facing resistance from the taxi industry in their cities.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and Toronto Mayor John Tory will meet Thursday afternoon to discuss the best way to move forward.
"We're going to discuss in greater detail where we can align on ensuring the first imperative here, which is public safety, is met," Iveson told reporters during the Big City Mayors' Conference in Toronto.
An Edmonton city council meeting to debate proposed regulation changes for Uber was interrupted Tuesday with an impromptu protest by taxi drivers, who chanted "shame on Uber, shame on the mayor."
The issue will be debated again in November in Edmonton.
Meanwhile Toronto is experiencing a similar struggle between the taxi industry and Uber. Toronto city staff proposed regulations that would legalize Uber and similar companies with the creation of a new licensing category.
But the taxi industry has the support of some Toronto councillors in calling for a ban of such services.
"The challenge that is in front of us is to recognize the reality of Uber, regulate it for the first time, and at the same time to ensure that there is an equitable playing field for the taxi industry," Tory said.
Tory said he only hopes Toronto doesn't experience the same kind of protest when the regulations are up for a vote next week.
Iveson predicted the Uber issue will be a continuing discussion for the mayors.