Unifor taxi drivers were joined by cabbies from Toronto and Montreal, and supporters from as far away as British Columbia, today as they brought their concerns about Uber to Parliament Hill.
“When Uber doesn’t pay taxes, they are not ripping off the government, they are ripping off all Canadians,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.
Dias said those taxes go to pay for such things as health care, law enforcement and all the things that make Canada such a great place to live. When big companies don’t pay their taxes, they put all that at risk, he said.
“We pay our taxes because that's the rule, and that's how we get the Canada we want,” Dias told the crowd of more than 300.
Karam Punian of the Airport Limousine Drivers Association in Toronto said the fight over Uber is about much more than the taxi industry, warning the so-called sharing economy could move into almost any other business to undermine the livelihoods of those involved and the products and services sold.
“You name it, they will enter it,” Punian said. “This is a challenge to our whole economy.”
Brampton Liberal MP Raj Grewal, the son of a cab driver, said a fair solution must be found, including a level playing field for all drivers.
“This is a fight about fairness and equality,” he said. “The taxi industry housed and fed me and put clothes on my back. It’s the reason I was able to become a lawyer and a Member of Parliament.”
Unifor Local 1688 President Amrit Singh called on the federal government to stop Uber across Canada as part of its pledge to help working families.