Bill concerning remunerated passenger transportation by automobile
The Official Opposition has voted against the Act respecting remunerated passenger transportation by automobile (Bill 17). Today, thousands of taxi drivers are worried about what the future holds for them.
The Liberal Critic for Transport, Mr. Gaétan Barrette, has spent the last months condemning the government’s decision to eliminate the licence system and its refusal to compensate owners accordingly. What they are being offered is the equivalent to expropriation without compensation.
Bill 17 has generated such improvisation on the government’s part- they presented 84 amendments to their own bill. Mr. Barrette’s interventions in parliamentary commission led the Minister of Transport Mr. François Bonnardel to make many improvements to his bill.
Among the important proposals made by the MNA representing La Pinière were:
- The protection of adapted transportation within the taxi industry, which had been completely forgotten by the Minister in the initial bill.
- Immediate compensations for owners.
- Awarding a portion of the government’s transportation contracts to the taxi industry.
- The real-time positioning of all fleets of vehicles owned by companies carrying out remunerated transportation of individuals.
We had a number of pitfalls to overcome while studying this bill. From the very beginning there was an issue with time management when it came to planning the work to study the bill. The Minister, however, was well aware of the October 14th start date. Things could have been different had the Minister been willing to listen. I will remember the people who compelled me to do something. They had solutions to offer, but Mr. Bonnardel was completely closed to the idea. The people from the taxi industry who are worrying today are in my thoughts. We will continue to be vigilant in the application of this law.
–Gaétan Barrette, Liberal Critic for Transport and the Conseil du Trésor.