On October 1st, Toronto City Council voted to delay again progress toward implementing the driver testing and training program which is already more than two years overdue.
On September 28th, Uber’s Public Policy person Jake Brockman sent a letter to Toronto’s Clerk’s office stating:
“We believe that this matter should be referred to the November 30, 2021 (sic) when Municipal Licensing and Standards will bring a fulsome update report on the Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw.”
At the October 1st Council meeting, Council voted the item be referred to the November 30 meeting of General Government and Licensing Committee.
Councillor Kristyn-Wong Tam had filed a Motion, Item MM36.14, suggesting Toronto suspend the issuance of new vehicle-for-hire licenses until the driver training program ordered by Council in July 2019 launched. However, the Motion failed to receive the two-thirds majority vote required, and instead was referred to the November 30 committee meeting.
As noted in the City Hall Watcher newsletter, “Uber lobbyists were back with a vengeance in September, with the ride share company logging 53 communications and winning the month. Uber Canada’s Manager for Public Policy Jake Brockman logged emails to every member of Council. Lobbyist-for-hire Kim Wright was also working on Uber’s behalf in September…Mandatory training for Toronto Uber drivers and other vehicle-for-hire drivers was supposed to start in 2020, but was delayed because of COVID-19.”
Cheryl Hawkes, whose son Nicholas Cameron died in an Uber with an untrained driver in 2018, spoke to Road Warrior News in April and noted: “City Council was unanimous in calling for driver training for rideshare drivers. There was wide public support. Studies were done. A bylaw was passed and bureaucrats charged with design and implementation. Failure to bring this to fruition, a full three years after Nick’s death, speaks to the mysterious power of Uber at City Hall and Uber’s ability to pervert the course of its own regulation.”