Taxi drivers skip deputing at Licensing and Standards Committee meeting over concerns about an unfair process

TORONTO, April 21, 2015 /CNW/ - Taxi driver groups are calling on their members to skip deputing at City of Toronto's Licensing and Standards Committee meeting. The committee is trying to create a two-tier licensing system by reopening the debate from last year and attempting to reverse the city's transition to driver-owned cabs.

Instead, taxi drivers are being asked to speak directly to their councillors and Mayor John Tory to urge them to stay the course with the progressive reforms approved by city council last year.

"This whole process is quite unfair," said Sajid Mughal, President of iTaxi Workers Association. "Last time drivers deputed, they were verbally insulted and abused."

The committee meeting in March caused a stir when a committee member admonished one driver that he was "in Canada now."

The March meeting concluded with the committee directing staff to draft bylaws that would reverse the changes to the taxi licensing system that city council adopted in February 2014, after years of study and consultation.

At today's meeting, the committee will consider staff's response, which recommends staying the course.

"There has been over a decade of research that shows that moving to driver-owned cabs will improve customer service and get rid of the middlemen who are taking money from the pockets of drivers and customers," said Mr. Mughal. "Suddenly re-opening this issue is a slap in the face to the thousands of drivers who participated in the consultations leading up to the decision at council last year."

"Many of them are working 12-hour days, six days a week, and once they pay all of the fees to these middlemen, they make less than minimum wage. We are calling on council and the mayor to show them that they are committed to staying the course on changes made last year."

SOURCE iTaxiworkers Association

For further information: Sajid Mughal, President, iTaxi Workers Association - 647-836-2930, mskias@hotmail.com; Amarjeet Kaur Chhabra, Executive Director, iTaxi Workers Association - 416-856-9587, amarjeet@itaxiworkers.ca

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iTaxiworkers Association

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