Monday, July 15, 2024

Nicholas Cameron’s mother Cheryl Hawkes asks media to look at whether Mayor’s office is thwarting driver training launch

Shortly after the vehicle for hire driver training item originally scheduled to be considered by Toronto Council on December 15th was delayed for a second day, Cheryl Hawkes asked media to “take a long look” at why training continues to be delayed.

Staff in Toronto’s Licensing and Standards office were directed by Council to implement a vehicle for hire driver training program in 2019; the program still does not exist, although a Request For Proposals (RFP) was issued on November 9th, 2021. Eleven firms responded to the RFP by the time it closed on December 10th.

Since her son Nicholas Cameron died as the result of an accident on the Gardiner Expressway involving an untrained Uber driver, Hawkes noted, “We have had two Directors of Municipal Licensing and Standards over this period since training was disposed of, and since then, the push to reinstate it.

“There’s the same Mayor, with two different Directors of Licensing. I can’t help but think that these people have the support of the Mayor’s office in pushing back. I really would like to see somebody in the media, take a long look at some of the alliances and the pressures that have been exerted over the years to thwart this (training program).”

Hawkes spoke at an online press conference hosted by RideFairTO. The press conference was moderated by RideFair’s Thorben Wieditz and featured comments by Licencing Committee Chair Paul Ainslie and Councillor Kristyn-Wong Tam, as well as Uber driver Earla Phillips and professional driving instructor Michael Geraghty of Canadian Pro Drivers.