Monday, July 15, 2024
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Taxi license owners win settlement in Quebec

Judge orders $219 million compensation over 2016 Uber entry

Today, Judge Silvana Conte of the Superior Court of Quebec rendered a historic judgment in class actions ordering the Quebec government to pay more than $219 million in compensation to thousands of former licensed Taxi owners.

The Court recognized that the Quebec government illegally and without fair compensation expropriated the owners of taxi licenses to make way for Uber, a multinational that refused to respect Quebec laws.

The judgment recognizes that taxi licenses were often their holders’ most important financial asset – an asset they worked for all their lives – and that the government must pay for its decision to abolish them.

The judgment amount represents the loss in value of the permits from September 9, 2016 – the moment the government entered into a pilot project with Uber and what the Court concluded was the first step in the expropriation process that took place, which crystallized with the complete abolition of the permit system in October 2019.

Between the amount of the judgment and the compensation already awarded to former taxi license owners, the government’s decision to abolish the taxi license system in favor of deregulation will have cost Quebec taxpayers more than a billion dollars.

According to Me Mathieu Charest-Beaudry, one of the members’ lawyers, “the judgment validates the feeling of profound injustice experienced by the license holders who, despite everything, trusted the Quebec justice system, and grants significant compensation to the members” .

Dama Metellus, who has courageously represented the members since 2016, said she had always believed that such injustice could not go without consequences: “Awarding the amount that the permit holders had paid meant that the permit holders who had purchased their permits would Long ago received less for exactly the same good. It didn’t make any sense. »

Despite the historic victory, the judgment did not grant all of the sums claimed, and we cannot exclude an appeal to obtain the reduction in the value of the permit between 2014 and 2016.

The plaintiff and the members of the group are represented by Trudel Johnston & Lspérance, Me Myriam Moussignac, Me Wilerne Bernard and Groupe Trivium.

This victory is also that of all the partners of the taxi industry, who mobilized to defend the rights of the members of the group as soon as Uber arrived in Quebec.

A copy of the judgment is available on the Trudel Johnston & Lspérance website here .