The above photos courtesy of Danny Ponomar at http://www.dapo.ca/



Friday, December 10, 2010

New Regulations Coming into Effect in the New Year

I am not here to post the official bylaws (which have not even been updated to the city of Lethbridge website as of this date. Basically according to the City of Lethbridge Bylaw 5658 Taxi Provisions a taxi driver must not have been convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada with the previous five years of application and a drivers abstract must not contain a serious driving offence.

I am not sure of the difference between the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Substance Act but from my understand of the wording of the bylaw if you were convicted of selling drugs before this bylaw comes into effect then you are good to go. If you are convicted of selling drugs after these laws are in effect then you are fucked. I would be wrong if the Controlled Substance Act is part of the Criminal Code but I find it strange that they do not mention the Controlled Substance Act until Section 6.15 (2) (e) (4).


From the Department of Regualtory Services. I am not immune to spelling errors but you would think that on a city issued taxi license regulatory would be spelled correctly.


I spoke with the Senior Bylaw Officer while going through the process and he personally processed the above document.

I asked a few questions and gathered the following information, none of which I present to be fact. Apparently not having this document presented in clear view of a customer could result in a $250 fine and I have known that the bylaw inspector has done periodic spot checks to ensure the rules are being followed, that is how XXXXXX Ribbon got shut down.

I asked why the city was taking these steps and what their motivation was and he mentioned to the effect "We received two complaints (that's right only two complaints for this whole process to start) from concerned citizens and we decided to open a review of the current bylaws in place within the city and we performed a comparative analysis with other cities within Alberta and decided there would be one of three options that we would choose. The first option was to do nothing, the second was to enforce some minor regulations to monitor the industry and the third option was to make major sweeping changes, like Calgary has with issuing licence plates and regulating the amount of cabs that are occupying the streets (which makes owning a taxi plate a supply and demand marketplace and holders of these plates can buy and sell them like they are shares in a corporation, at least from my understanding of how Calgary operates)." He mentioned that they had chosen the option that would best serve the community and I 100% agree with this step in regulating the industry.

I am glad to know that when the taxi driver who stabbed four people gets out of jail he will have to find another occupation. Would you, as a woman, want to get into a taxi wasted drunk not knowing if this driver has had prior sexual assault convictions against women?

Also I am tired of hearing how this is a "Cash Cow" for the city. I understand the process is more difficult for some than others but it is no cash cow. I paid $50 for my business licence, just as any other business has to pay. I guess another $50 (or whatever it was) for my criminal check and another $25 maybe for a driver's abstract.

So the city received maybe a $100 max for issuing me my taxi operators licence. I estimate the expenses to process this to be around $40 all inclusive, with the police, bylaw, etc. So the city will issue at the very most 200 licence's. So they potentially just made $12,000.

I can assure you that $12,000 is no motivation for the city implementing these regulations and it is no cash cow, are you kidding me?

If you are interested I believe this bylaw was passed here July 19, 2010, with zero opposition. Search 5658 within the pdf for ease of finding it.

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As a side post I am not against these regulations but if cab drivers are seriously pissed off about these new rules than I would support their opinion as a whole and would vote my opinion based on the majority of the people I have spoken with. If cab drivers were really upset about a big issue in Lethbridge then I am sure we would find the cause to protest at some level. Has there been any protest at all with the city? No, not as far as I know.

ENFORCEMENT:

I do not believe that the city has any immediate plan for any enforcement activities. XXXXXX Ribbon operated for at least a year before they recieved what? A fine (I don't know, but a warrant only arose because he never went to court to face the charges)?

1 comment:

Gary Rombough said...

Hey
My name is Gary Rombough.
I just moved here from Kingston, Ontario where I too operated a taxi.
I am going to soon be on the roads here. The taxis in my town have been regulated for the 20 years I have driven.

Regulation helps the industry be more professionally operated providing the commission actually does their job.

The only problem with Kingston's Taxi Commission is that they cater to the brokerage with all of the cash!
The owner of the largest service in town who I am convinced is out to completely eliminate single car owners so he can own all 200 taxis in the city!
He already owns 50 of his own out of the 105 car fleet.

I think the City Governments should focus on driver safety making it mandatory to have barriers in our cabs. Barriers would alleviate Runners and Robbers from stressing us out. A commission would give the City safer cars for the driver and customers , increase business and make all accountable.

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