Taxi drivers in St. John's are unfairly discriminating against young women according to four groups in Newfoundland and Labrador.
On Tuesday, Co-Op Taxi general manager Doug McCarthy told CBC News that some drivers are not picking up young women outside downtown bars because they fear they will be falsely accused of inappropriate touching or assault.
The Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the St. John’s Status of Women Council, Coalition Against Violence-Avalon East and the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre say that’s unacceptable.
"Under the Human Rights Act persons cannot be denied access to goods and services based on gender. The comments made by Doug McCarthy are suggesting that some drivers are doing just that," said a news release signed by leaders of all four groups Wednesday.
The executive director of the Coalition Against Violence-Avalon East is quoted in the release.
"Negative ideas about young women exposed by this taxi company are incorrect and disrespect women," said Leisha Sagan.
McCarthy told CBC that some young women are drunk and pass out after they get in cabs. He said he's been told there have been cases where drivers tried to wake up the women who claim they can't remember where they are going. In some instance, he said the young women threaten to make false accusations against the driver to avoid paying their fare.
He said some drivers are now struggling with the decision to pick up a young girl who's on her own.