I remain convinced that there is more evolution and competition capable in the taxi business and look forward to this term of Council’s review of taxi regulations to open that dialogue.
Competition is good for business and most often benefits the consumer. Competition and compliance with the law are however not the same thing.
There are many cases of public policy where private interests must be bracketed by regulation to ensure that public good does not take a back seat to business interests.
To be clear, my interests in this industry have always been, and will continue to be, those of public safety, availability, fairness and accessibility.
I remain adamantly opposed to bandit taxi operators who do not adhere to our community approved by-laws. Many of these by-laws relate to passenger and driver safety as well as fair fees and a guarantee of accessible options for a service that should be available to all Ottawa residents.
I am committed to continuing our work with the purpose of ensuring a service on our streets that properly balances safety, reliability, affordability and accessibility. I repeat and reinforce that I am willing to work with our Provincial partners, community representatives, taxi businesses, driver unions, new businesses and, most importantly, the public in pursuit of that purpose.
I expect any business that wishes to operate in any community would want to come forward openly and transparently, comply with local laws, or if they wish – seek changes in those laws prior to establishing their business. That is the behaviour Ottawa residents expect and deserve from business operators.
The root of effective competition is fairness. Everyone operates under the same set of community accepted rules.