Manager calls city's crackdown on cabs stopping in front of Regina bar 'ridiculous'

New late-night taxi stands are being installed in downtown Regina after bar managers confronted a parking enforcement officer who said cabs couldn't stop in front of a pub.

City creating new late-night taxi stands around the corner from O'Hanlon's

This is where bar managers say Regina police and parking enforcement have been shooing away cabs for the past month. (CBC)

A heated exchange between bar staff and city parking enforcement officer over cabs stopping in front of a pub has spurred the creation of new late-night taxi stands in downtown Regina.

Jay Gwilliam, a manager at O'Hanlon's Irish Pub, said the incident happened Wednesday around 11 p.m. CST.

He said people were gathered at the bar for a screening of a documentary about the dangers of impaired driving. As part of the event, Regina Cabs was offering free rides home.

After the film was over, taxis lined up in front of the bar, located on the 1900 block of Scarth Street.

That's when Gwilliam said a parking enforcement officer came by and told the cabs they weren't allowed to stop on the street in front of the bar.

O'Hanlon's day manager Jay Gwilliam questions what the problem is with cabs stopping in front of the pub late at night to pick up patrons. (CBC)

'Safety is our No.1 concern'

A video posted to social media shows Gwilliam and another member of the bar staff confronting the officer about taking issue with the cabs stopping to pick people up. The officer eventually drives away.

Gwilliam admits he responded aggressively.

"It is ridiculous that a taxi can't pick someone up in front of the pub," he said Thursday.

"Safety is our No.1 concern. We are serving alcohol. We want to make sure everybody gets a safe ride home and we'd like the city to be on board."

He said these incidents have been happening for the past month, with either parking enforcement or Regina police shooing cabs away.

Gwilliam is frustrated and pointed to the recent lawsuit against two bars Saskatchewan Government Insurance launched after staff served a woman who later killed a family of four.

"We're very on edge right now."

City adds taxi stands

By noon, the City of Regina had announced late-night taxi stands would being created half a block away from the bar by Thursday afternoon.

A map provided by the city shows both stands will be installed around the corner from O'Hanlons on Victoria Avenue, near where it intersects with Scarth Street.

The city committed to create two new late night taxi stands in downtown Regina. (The City of Regina)

The city said the issue was discussed with businesses in the area, and will ensure that safety for all is maintained.

With files from Alec Salloum