QUEBEC – Prime Minister François Legault defends himself to plunge immigrant families into precariousness with his plan to deregulate the passenger transportation industry.
He was answering Thursday, the member for Quebec solidarity Andrés Fontecilla, who accuses the government of weakening the living conditions of thousands of immigrant families in Quebec, in a context where it should rather help them to integrate.
“Taxis in Quebec are mainly jobs for immigrants,” said the MP for Laurier-Dorion. The Prime Minister insists (…) that immigrants must take less to take care of them. Diving these families into precariousness, is it really that, taking care of people? ”
Under Bill 17, tabled Wednesday in the National Assembly, all drivers, whether traditional taxi industry or occasional service application, will meet the same standards.
The Legault government will give half a billion dollars in compensation to taxi drivers, for whom it is clearly insufficient. Industry representatives estimate that the total value of permits has been reduced by more than $ 1 billion. According to them, Quebec is in the pay of Uber lobbyists.
They cry “treason” and “declaration of war”. “When the CAQ writes a bill, does it stop for two minutes to think about the consequences on people?” Asked Fontecilla.
Yet, according to François Legault, the government is making great efforts to help taxi drivers, who will benefit from sizeable sums, according to him.
“We have to modernize, and it’s still a big compensation to say we give $ 500 million to those who bought permits,” he said in a scrum before question period.
“The value of permits has fluctuated, there are people at the beginning who got them free, permits. There are people who have paid $ 10,000, $ 20,000. I understand that at one point it reached $ 200,000, but that’s the law of supply and demand.
“When we’re in business, we take risks,” he said.
The portrait is not all black for taxi drivers, on the contrary, says the head of government. Nothing will prevent them from making a living by transporting people. “Someone who agrees to work at rush hour, when there are a lot of requests, at the exit of the hockey games, for example, well he will be able to make more money than at present,” he pleads. he.
In the end, welcomed the Prime Minister, “the big winners in this, it is the consumers, who will have access to better rates.”
If the bill is passed, all drivers must have:
-a Class 5 license, rather than the 4C class of current taxi drivers;
-minimum training whose duration remains to be determined;
-to pass an exam;
-was subjected to a criminal record check.
The government would end:
-the exclusive reserved territories and the quota of taxis;
-T registration reserved for taxis;
– annual inspection.
In addition, the term taxi will become a “protected designation”, to designate the paid transportation of persons by automobile, the race of which may be requested at the customer’s choice other than by technological means. The lantern, the taximeter and the hailed race are also reserved for taxis.