City May Grind To Halt As Cabbies Launch Strike During All-Star Weekend
As the city makes final preparations leading up to the NBA All-Star Weekend, cab drivers are engaged in their own plans, as they escalate their fight against Uber, and Mayor John Tory.
Taxi drivers will begin their protest Friday night, during rush hour, while NBA All-Star festivities get underway. The All-Star Celebrity Game tips off at 7 p.m. at the Ricoh Coliseum and the sold-out Rising Stars Challenge at Air Canada Centre begins at 9 p.m..
A representative of the United Taxi Workers Association says their protest will start during the afternoon rush, with a procession of taxi drivers moving southbound on Highway 427, then east along the Gardiner Expressway, towards the York/Bay exit.
Cabbies will then begin circling the Air Canada Centre for an undetermined amount of time.
But the fight against Uber doesn’t stop there.
The Toronto Taxi Alliance released a statement early Wednesday morning, calling for an injunction against Uber.
“The Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) sympathizes with the frustrations of taxi drivers, which are real and painful. John Tory and the City of Toronto have created this problem by refusing to deal with UberX in a timely manner.
The Toronto Taxi Alliance respects and supports the Rule of Law. We do not support any activities which are in conflict with the Rule of Law. We wish Mayor Tory and Chief Saunders felt the same.
We have not exhausted our legal options, and that is why the TTA is moving forward to request an injunction against Uber. Details of this injunction request will be announced shortly.
Toronto’s taxi industry itself is stepping up to do the job City Council has chosen not to do: as tax paying, law abiding citizens the industry is going to court to ensure the Rule of Law is upheld. We wish to send a positive message to Toronto’s youth and to the business community that it is NOT ok to unfairly conduct business in Toronto by breaking the law as a business model.”
Mayor John Tory has said Toronto will be front and center this weekend, and with city expected to see a direct economic benefit of anywhere between $85 M and $100 M, he doesn’t see how clogging city streets and preventing easy access will be beneficial to the cab drivers’ cause.