Quebec reopens talks with Uber as deadline looms
New Transport Minister André Fortin spent 1st day on new job in talks with taxi industry
Quebec's government is expected to announce where it stands on Uber Friday morning as the deadline set by the ride-hailing company to pull out of Quebec approaches.
Premier Philippe Couillard said early Thursday his government's new transport minister André Fortin would speak with representatives from the ride-hailing company, but he also stressed the province "won't submit to a multinational."
"We see the change, we see the new modernity, the new way of doing things. But we also have [legislation] in Quebec that has to be followed," he said.
Fortin spent Thursday in talks with the taxi industry.
Couillard said that if there are economic consequences for taxi drivers, they will be compensated.
The ride-hailing company has threatened to leave the province on Oct. 14 if the government doesn't ease up on regulations it's imposing as a prerequisite for renewing its pilot project.
Sticking points include having Uber drivers undergo 35 hours of training — the same number of hours required of traditional taxi drivers — and submitting to a criminal background check by police.
Uber drivers have expressed hope that the appointment of Fortin, 35, could yield an improved relationship between the company and the Couillard government.
Fortin took over as head of the Transport Ministry from Laurent Lessard in Wednesday's cabinet shuffle.
With files from Angelica Montgomery