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Ottawa staff were directed to study “capturing the value” of Taxi plates for taxpayers

Photo: RWN

At an April 11, 2012 Council meeting, Councillors directed staff to study “All possible options for restructuring taxi plate fees, including capturing the value of such plates for the taxpayers of the City of Ottawa.”  

Ottawa’s Deputy City Clerk Lesley Donnelly began providing testimony for the City of Ottawa in the Ottawa Taxi trial on January 26, and remained on the stand all day Friday, January 27th.

Donnelly confirmed that at the same 2012 meeting, staff were instructed to explore allowing the City to capture a “commission” on the sale or transfer of Taxi plates, “eg, at $200,000, a 10% commission the City would receive $20,000 commission plus transfer fee.”

Lawyer for the plaintiff Metro Taxi Abdalla Barqawi questioned Donnelly on Ottawa’s opportunity to exit completely the regulation of the Taxi industry in 2005 when it completed harmonizing the by-laws of the municipalities amalgamated by direction of the province.

“So in 2005, Ottawa could have decided to abandon all regulation of the industry, but it chose to regulate, correct?” Barqawi asked.

“Absolutely,” Donnelly replied emphatically. “Absolutely, they did.”