Quebec taxi drivers seek injunction against Uber

The union representing 4,000 Montreal taxi drivers has filed a request for a permanent injunction to ban the Uber ride-hailing service in Quebec.

Procession of taxis drives along downtown streets to event at Montreal courthouse

Taxi drivers stand outside the Montreal courthouse on Tuesday, where they filed an injunction against Uber. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

The union representing 4,000 Montreal taxi drivers has filed a request for a permanent injunction to ban Uber in Quebec.

The Regroupement des travailleurs autonomes Métallos filed the request against Uber and the popular ride-hailing service UberX.

Around a dozen taxi drivers gathered at the courthouse to support the move.

The request for a permanent injunction asks the court to declare Uber illegal, force the company to cease operations and disable its mobile app across Quebec.

"Uber and those who profit from it are profiting off disrespect for the law and regulations currently in effect in Quebec," the request reads. 

Representatives from the taxi industry arrive at the Montreal courthouse early Tuesday to file an injunction. (Ainslie Maclellan/CBC)

Lack of regulation

The injunction request lists a number of taxi industry regulations that the union states Uber does not respect, including:

  • Criminal background checks for drivers.
  • Mandatory training courses for drivers.
  • Ensuring drivers pass exams in good standing.
  • Ensuring respect for taxi industry rules and norms.
  • Ensuring vehicles are clean and in good working order.
  • Sanctions, fines and inspections for drivers who break the law and regulations that govern the taxi industry.

The injunction also challenges the fact that Uber drivers do not require a taxi permit to take on passengers for a fee, which the group says is illegal under Quebec law.

"Today is a great day for the taxi industry. We deposited a permanent injunction in front of the court," said union spokesman  Benoît Jugand outside the courthouse. 

"We are doing what the government should've done before, and we're asking for Uber to be deactivated for all of the province of Quebec."

Jugand said it was time for Quebec's government to take action. 

"It's not normal that we must take care of what's supposed to be done by the government," he said.

In an interview on CBC Montreal's Daybreak, Jugand expanded on the group's concerns about Uber.

"They're not following the laws that were implemented by Quebec government," he said.

"The law says that to do some transportation you need to have a permit, and to transport people you need to have a driver's permit."

The union is also considering launching a class-action lawsuit to recover revenue its members lost to Uber.

"We're very realistic. The odds are very good," Jugand said. "It's all about security and consumer protection."​

Traffic was disrupted for a short time in Montreal's downtown core this morning.