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Ottawa Taxi trial proceedings are completed; Justice Smith now considers his decision

The Ottawa Taxi trial, officially titled “Metro Taxi Ltd., Marc Andre Way and Ishkak Mail vs the City of Ottawa” wrapped up around 5pm, November 29th.

The lawsuit, filed in 2016 and certified in 2018, will almost certainly reach a full eight years in length by the time Justice Marc Smith renders his decision. It is expected in the new year.

Six weeks of court time was allotted to the courtroom proceedings, which commenced on January 4th, 2023 and ran until February 16th.

Members of Ottawa’s taxi industry launched the $215 million class-action lawsuit in April 2016, alleging the city did not protect drivers and the industry when ride-sharing services hit city streets. The suit also claims the city discriminated against minority taxi plate holders by failing to enforce its own bylaw and changing the bylaw to allow private transportation companies.

A key element of this trial is the allegation that the City of Ottawa “in failing to enforce its By-law and in changing the By-law, the City discriminated on the basis of race, colour, ancestry, ethnic or national origin, religion or creed, language, place of origin, or citizenship, contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code,” according to the class action.

The lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Metro Taxi Ltd., co-owner Marc Andre Way and Iskhak Mail, with the lawsuit seeking damages on behalf of taxi plate owners and brokers.