Calgary uber drivers could be arrested if injunction approved

The City of Calgary is going through the courts in the hopes of preventing Uber drivers from operating illegally. An application for an injunction has been filed which could see drivers arrested.

A court hearing is set for Friday to determine whether city's crackdown can move forward

Drivers for Uber Calgary could face jail time if the city is successful in its application for injunction. (Sarah Lawrynuik/CBC)

Uber drivers could face jail time if the City of Calgary succeeds in its application for an injunction. 

The application was filed on Monday against 57 people believed to be driving for the company, "and all other persons who operate as an Uber driver in the city of Calgary."

The concern is that Uber drivers are unlicensed and don't have proper insurance. 

City 'not looking to catch the unaware'

The injunction being sought by the city says anyone who fails to comply to the terms of the order "may be arrested by officers of the Calgary Police Service and brought before this Court to show why they should not be cited in contempt."

The lawyer for the city, however, says the intention of the injunction is to further educate drivers.

"If you missed the campaign back then, we are reinforcing the message," said Colleen Sinclair.

A cover letter was sent with the court documents to each driver named in the application stating that if the driver did not know they were breaching the bylaw, to contact Sinclair.

The city is offering a consent order where the driver agrees to stop breaching the bylaw and the city will remove that person from its application.

"We're not looking to catch the unaware," said Sinclair.

Twelve affidavits have been filed including 10 from people who work for two private investigation firms that were hired by the city.

Those people took Uber rides, documenting the name of the driver and trip information. 

'Disappointed'

"We're disappointed to see the city target hardworking Calgarians — many recently laid off — with a protectionist legal battle," said Uber spokesperson Jean-Christophe de Le Rue. 

"We are committed to supporting the driver-partners who have been providing a valuable transportation service in Calgary. In the meantime, Uber remains committed to serving Calgarians and working with the City of Calgary on regulations for ridesharing."

The matter will be before a judge on Friday. Another date is being held by the trial coordinator for Nov. 20th, which is set aside for longer matters.

In April, the City of Edmonton also attempted to stop Uber drivers by seeking an injunction, but it was struck down. 

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