Historic trial asks whether municipal government must obey its own laws
Final, verbal arguments will be put forward in the Ottawa Taxi trial on November 28th and 29th, 2023.
Plaintiff Marc Andre Way of Metro Taxi told Taxi News, “We are committed to taking this matter to the end, and we have the resources to do so.”
Way is also the CEO of Coventry Connections and the president of the Canadian Taxi Association (CTA).
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.
Metro Taxi vs City of Ottawa was certified in 2018, and finally began hearings five years later in January of 2023. With final arguments taking place at the end of November, the trial will have taken at least six years from beginning to end, as Justice Marc Smith is expected to take some weeks or months before rendering his decision in the trial.
A key element of the 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.
Taxi News provided extensive daily coverage of the trial as it got underway on January 2023; for access to linked articles, begin by clicking here.