Uber to stay in Quebec as province maintains new rules
Published Friday, October 13, 2017 8:58AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 13, 2017 7:38PM EDT
The provincial government will give Uber drivers more time to undergo background checks, but otherwise is not going to alter the operating conditions for the ride-hailing service.
Uber has been operating under a year-long pilot project that expires on Saturday, and last month the provincial government made some alterations to the conditions.
Drivers for Uber will now have to undergo background checks conducted by police, and will also have to undertake 35 hours of training. Quebec said the goal is to level the playing field and make Uber drivers and taxi drivers work under the same basic conditions.
Uber had said those regulations were too restrictive and threatened to pull out of Quebec on Saturday, but after a meeting with the new Transportation Minister André Fortin, the company has decided to stay.
The new minister says he's not giving in to Ubers demands, but the new rules aren't going into effect until January.
"We've confirmed that the new training requirements that would impede our ability to operate do not have to be initiated for a few months, and we are committed to working with the government over this period," said Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, general manager for Uber Quebec.
Fortin made a slight tweak to the regulations and said that that all existing Uber drivers would have get police background checks completed within two years of their previous background checks which were done by a private company.
Any drivers who join Uber after Oct. 15 will have eight months to submit to a background check.
Mayor Denis Coderre said he welcomed the decision as long as Uber follows regulations.
"We believe in competition, we don't have any problem with that, but we want to make sure that from the taxi industry, because they have to live with those rules, we cannot have two ways. It's a one-size-fits-all for that purpose," said Coderre.
Uber drivers that spoke to CTV Montreal were happy to hear they would be able to continue working.