Quebec's Uber bill too harsh or about time?
Montrealers react to proposed reforms that would see UberX drivers have to take out a taxi permit
After months of lobbying by the taxi industry and the online transportation service Uber, Quebec Transport Minister Jacques Daoust finally unveiled a bill to regulate ride-hailing services in the province on Thursday.
If Daoust's bill gets passed, it will force UberX drivers to take out a taxi permit or risk fines up to $25,000.
The issue of whether to regulate ride-hailing services such as Uber has prompted passionate debate among Montrealers for months. Today was no different.
The Twitterverse appeared united in its frustration with the bill, which many worry could force Uber to shut down its Quebec operation.
Classic <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Montreal?src=hash">#Montreal</a> fail on dropping <a href="https://twitter.com/Uber">@Uber</a> . When will this city actually start realize its living in the past. <a href="https://t.co/AJLSJOSCks">pic.twitter.com/AJLSJOSCks</a>—@myronsfinest
Some Twitter users wondered why Quebec couldn't follow the precedent set in other jurisdictions, where UberX drivers operate with fewer restrictions.
Uber is good enough for Toronto, Ottawa, New York, Milan, Shanghai, but not good enough for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Montreal?src=hash">#Montreal</a>. <br>Merci, <a href="https://twitter.com/phcouillard">@phcouillard</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/DenisCoderre">@DenisCoderre</a>.—@styleofthetiger
Others complained the government was bending to the will of the taxi industry, instead of voters.
Makes sense for OUR government to support the monopoly that is the taxi industry instead of its electorate...smh <a href="https://t.co/PW07TXSYTd">https://t.co/PW07TXSYTd</a>—@slobru
Facebook users keener on bill
On Facebook, however, the government's bill received more favourable reviews.
Even if some were neither for nor against Uber, they acknowledged that the time had come to update the province's taxi legislation.
with files from Molly Kohli