Toronto, Ontario – Taxi drivers in Toronto plan a “Day of Action” on Monday, February 27th, 2012 to denounce the city’s “two-tier” taxi licensing and demand action and reform promised a year ago but not yet delivered.
Toronto issues “Ambassador” taxi plates that must be owned and operated solely by the plate holder, in addition to regular taxi licenses that can be used on cars driven by contract drivers.
On February 14, 2011, taxi driver Khalil Talke was ordered to drive down a dark street by his passenger, who then stabbed him repeatedly and left him for dead. The attacker remains at large.
As he owned an Ambassador plate, Talke was banned by city bylaws from hiring a replacement driver to operate his cab while he was in hospital. He was forced to surrender his taxi plate, depriving his family of their sole income while he was injured. Toronto’s mayor and the Chair of Municipal Licensing and Standards promised action and reform, but the drivers say that no action has been taken and the promised consultations on reform have yet to begin.
Drivers say they will call on the city during the Day of Action to make good on its promise to reform the taxi industry and implement a single, equal and fair taxi plate for all owners, ending the two-tier discrimination of the Ambassador system.