Cab drivers disrupt Edmonton council meeting on Uber, rip off shirts
Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015 7:42PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 22, 2015 9:57PM EDT
Taxi drivers opposed to a proposed bylaw to regulate companies like Uber became so disruptive during an Edmonton city council meeting that the mayor and councillors left the room and were accompanied by several police officers after they returned.
About 90 minutes into Tuesday’s meeting, a group of about 100 angry cabbies shouted things like “shame” and “justice” and “you guys are crooks,” and then began to walk out of the meeting.
Some of them ripped off their shirts, and at least one them refused to put it back after he was instructed to do so by a police officer.
One of the shirtless drivers said the gesture was to symbolize that the city was taking the “shirts off their backs,” because they would earn less money if forced to compete with legalized Uber drivers.
The meeting concluded peacefully after the mayor, councillors and many of the drivers returned to their seats.
The proposal under discussion would allow ride-sharing companies like Uber to operate legally if drivers undergo mandatory criminal record checks, have proper insurance, get their vehicles checked annually and pay a fee.
The bylaw will be considered again at a meeting November and it is expected for pass by March.
With files from CTV Edmonton