Taxi drivers are blocking Montreal's streets once again on Wednesday, on the eve of public hearings into the future of paid transportation in Quebec.

Benoit Jugand, a spokesperson for the Steelworkers Union that represents about half of the taxi drivers in Montreal, said the province is leaving drivers with no choice but to show their frustration.

"Today we're going to be occupying Montreal downtown," said Jugand.

He said taxi drivers would be protesting on Sherbrooke St., Rene Levesque Blvd., and around the Stock Exchange Tower and the Courthouse.

During their protest taxi drivers spotted an UberX driver trying to pick up a customer. The protesters threw eggs at the car and dumped flour on its windshield.

When the driver left the scene and opened his window, someone threw an egg into his face.

Uber issued a statement folowing the attack. 

“We strongly condemn the violence and intimidation tactics used today by members of the taxi industry. The Government has put in place a commission to hear the views of stakeholders and we believe that the best path forward will be found through dialogue, not violence," wrote Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, spokesperson for Uber.

Jugand and taxi drivers are calling on the province to force Uber to stop operating while public hearings are taking place.

Last week Transportation Minister Jacques Daoust refused to do that, while Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said Uber should stop operations.

On Wednesday Daoust said UberX drivers should be subject to regulations. 

""It is not fair that people driving Uber cars don't have to pay for a licence of some kind, hold an insurance, be subjected to all kinds of verifications like other cab drivers are, and we want to be sure that the playing field is going to be level and equal and equitable for the cab drivers," said Daoust.

"We're denouncing Uber, and what's not acceptable for us is that the Premier did not ask UberX to cease their activites during the commission. That's not acceptable," said Jugand.

Parti Quebecois considered walking out of hearings

Parliamentary hearings into Uber begin on Thursday in Quebec City.

The Steelworkers union will be the first to talk, followed by Uber Quebec.

UberX has drawn the ire of taxi drivers and opposition MNAs because the app allows anyone to transport paying customers.

That's a clear violation of Quebec law, which requires anyone operating as a taxi driver to have a class 4C license from the province, and most city's bylaws requiring taxi drivers to have a permit to operate a passenger vehicle.

Parti Quebecois leader Pierre Karl Peladeau said his party considered walking out of hearings instead of hearing Uber's testimony, but ultimately decided to stay.

"It's troubling to accept that people who do not respect the law come here, into the house of democracy," Peladeau told reporters.

Taxi drivers said allowing Uber to operate is a disgrace, and disrespectful to those who pay thousands of dollars each year to respect the law. 

"It's like we're saying that taxi drivers and taxi owners are second-class citizens and that's not acceptable," said Jugand.

Uber has refused to stop operating in Quebec while hearings are taking place, and has launched a petition to garner support for its operation.

An Angus Reid poll conducted in January found two-thirds of Canadians were open to having Uber operate in their communities as long as it was subject to the same or similar regulations as taxis.