Friday, July 19, 2024
Uber's lawsuit against Toronto is the archetypal example of "The Pot calling the Kettle black." Image: Taxi News
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Uber’s lawsuit: is it a joke?

“Acting in bad faith; discriminating; causing loss of customer base, goodwill and revenues”

RWN/Taxi News publisher Rita Smith.

As a professional humour writer, I can relate when comedians complain that there is no comedy they can write that is as unbelievable as the world we live in. No matter how extreme or ridiculous a scenario they dream up, real-world politicians, entertainers or businesspeople will do something even more laughable.

Despite my 39 years of experience writing humour, satire, and parody, I was not prepared for the lawsuit Uber filed against the City of Toronto on December 4th. I still haven’t processed it completely; I know that it actually happened, I have a copy of the lawsuit, I wrote a short hard news piece about it on December 5th and I have viewed other media coverage of the event. I still can’t believe it.

Other media, by the way, appear to be treating the lawsuit as a reasonable thing. They completely omit the fact that Uber was allowed to operate for years in contravention of every Taxi by-law on Toronto’s books, cashing in massively while Toronto acted in bad faith and discriminated against legitimate business, causing the Taxi industry to lose its customer base, goodwill and revenues and suffer harm that is not recoverable in damages.

The same media who noticed none of this happening in 2014, 15, 16 are now gravely concerned that Uber is accusing Toronto of acting in bad faith, discriminating, causing Uber to lose its customer base, goodwill and revenues and suffer harm that is not recoverable in damages.

Personally, I have not yet seen any media ask an Uber spokesperson “Wait, isn’t this EXACTLY THE SAME THING YOU DID TO TAXIS IN 2014?” (If you have a clip of this question being asked, please send me the link at [email protected])

A picture is worth 1,000 words…no words can describe the astonishment of reading Uber’s lawsuit, accusing Toronto of “bad faith” and “loss of revenues.” Image: Taxi News

Surely, the Uber lawsuit in Toronto means something important in addition to being good for a laugh.

Maybe it means Olivia Chow has not been hypnotized by Uber the way John Tory was. Maybe it means Councillors are more serious about reducing emissions than we gave them credit for: maybe they are recognizing the farce of promoting “Net Zero” while allowing TEN TIMES AS MANY RIDESHARES TO CRUISE THE STREETS as they ever allowed Taxis (55,0000 rideshares versus 5,500 Taxis).

Maybe it’s a chance for the world-famous Canadian sense of humour to jovially illustrate a point that a decade of reasoned argument has failed to do.

Unfortunately, I fear there is more going on here than just corporate interests oblivious to the concepts of hypocrisy and irony. I am afraid the very fact that Uber possesses the chutzpah to file this lawsuit means they know something fearful and awful that we don’t yet know about Canadian systems.

There is nothing funny about that.

*****

“I fear there is more going on here than just corporate interests oblivious to the concepts of hypocrisy and irony.”