Taxi drivers lose another legal challenge against Uber

The taxi industry has been hit with another blow in its legal efforts to stop Uber's activities in Quebec only days before a pilot project for the ride-hailing service is set to go into effect.

Taxi industry plans protest in Quebec City Wednesday, Montreal protest on Oct. 5

A coalition of taxi industry representatives filed an injunction against Uber last week, shortly after filing losing one against the Quebec government's one-year Uber deal. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

The taxi industry has been hit with another blow in its legal efforts to stop Uber's activities in Quebec.

In a written decision handed down Tuesday, Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Yergeau rejected the industry's request for an injunction against the ride-hailing service.

A coalition of taxi industry representatives filed the injunction last week, requesting a safeguard order that would suspend Uber's activities in order to safeguard its rights.

In his decision, Yergeau said there was no way of knowing if Uber is to blame for drivers' financial problems or if there were deeper problems.

The judge was not convinced by the taxi industry's argument that there was an urgency to act, writing that Uber has been operating for years and the industry should have taken legal action sooner if the situation was so dire. 

RTAM-Métallos, a steelworkers union that represents several thousand taxi drivers, said the taxi industry would not give up as a result of the ruling. 

"If the government wants to see us in the streets then they are going to see us, and it's starting tomorrow," said Benoit Jugand, a spokesperson for the union.

Taxi drivers in Quebec City plan to demonstrate outside the National Assembly on Wednesday. 

Jugand said there would also be "a national protest in the city of Montreal with all the taxi drivers, taxi owners and taxi companies" on Oct. 5.

This ruling comes just a week after the taxi industry lost another injunction request in Quebec Superior Court.

That request, denied by Justice Michel Déziel, sought to suspend a recent deal between Uber and the Quebec government.

The deal allows the ride-hailing service to operate in the province for the following year and is slated to take effect on Thursday.

Yergeau, like Déziel, suggested the coalition spend its time preparing for a more in-depth hearing scheduled for January 2017.

With files from Elias Abboud