Edmonton

Uber injuction now in hands of Edmonton judge

A judge is now considering the city’s plea to place a temporary injunction against the ride-share service Uber.

Uber says city targeting wrong company in court action

Toronto-based Uber Canada lawyer Neil Finkelstein leaves court Thursday with his colleagues after arguing the City of Edmonton is seeking an injunction against the wrong company. (CBC)

A judge is now considering the city’s plea to place a temporary injunction against the ride-share service Uber.

City lawyer Brad Savoury asked Justice Michelle Crighton on Thursday to order Uber Canada to deactivate its drivers’ accounts and stop hiring new drivers.

He said Uber is breaking city bylaws that threaten public safety, by operating without a business or taxi broker licence.

"Uber has come to Edmonton ... to operate vehicles for hire that are unlicensed in the city of Edmonton," he said.

But Uber lawyer Neil Finkelstein said the injunction targets the wrong company.

A company in California, not Uber Canada, controls the Uber app, he said. 

"Uber is not conducting business, merely providing support services," Finkelstein said.

Savoury said Uber is playing "a bit of a shell game," by claiming it is not in business in Edmonton.

Finkelstein also took a shot at the city's enforcement efforts, pointing out the city has only issued only six tickets to Uber drivers so far and those in a 77-minute period in January.

"The city is not trying to enforce its bylaw," he said. "It has not ever lifted a finger to enforce it."

Uber started operating in Edmonton at the end of December.

Although the city views Uber cars as bandit taxis, councillors have said they are prepared to look at how regulations could be changed so ride-share service could operate legally in Edmonton.

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