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Uber threatens to leave Quebec over new ride-sharing rules



Uber threatened on Tuesday to stop services in Canada’ s Quebec province in mid-October , saying proposed new ride -sharing regulations aimed at leveling the field with taxis are too onerous.

“ We are going to have to cease our operations in Quebec on October 14 , ” Jean-Nicolas Guillemette , director general of Uber Quebec, told a press conference , while also calling for negotiations to find a solution to the deadlock that would allow the company to stay.
An Uber stoppage in the province would affect cities including Montreal, Quebec City and Gatineau .

The Uber executive accused the Quebec government of “ trying to impose old ( taxi) rules on a completely new technological model, ” saying “ major changes ” in the regulations would force Uber to effectively operate like a taxi company with full -time drivers .

Under the new regulations unveiled last Friday , he said, Uber would not be able to attract and retain part-time or occasional drivers .

According to the company , Uber signed up 10 , 000 drivers in Quebec who made more than eight million trips over the past year.

Guillemette urged the government to reconsider its position and renew a pilot program that allowed Uber to operate in the province over the past year, without any changes .

The original one-year test program, which is slated to end mid-October , required Uber to collect and pay taxes on each trip made by its drivers .

It also capped the time worked by all drivers to a total of 50 , 000 hours per week.

Quebec Transportation Minister Laurent Lessard said at the time that it allowed taxi and Uber drivers “ to compete on a more balanced playing field . ”

Last week, the government renewed the pilot but with stricter conditions that would require Uber drivers to undergo 35 hours of training — the same as taxi drivers — and a criminal background check by police.

Uber vehicles would also be required to undergo annual safety inspections.

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