MONTRÉAL - Quebec's taxi industry is seeking $1.5 billion from the Quebec government and Uber to compensate for losses it says were incurred due to deregulation.

Lawyers representing the 22,000 taxi drivers and operators in Quebec launched three class-action bids in Montreal Tuesday morning.

They are asking the courts to make two determinations: first, that the Quebec government and Uber are responsible for the losses incurred by the taxi industry and, second, if Bill 17 - the government's law reforming Quebec's taxi industry - is a form of expropriation, and, if so, what the value of that expropriation is.

Taxi industry representatives are opposed to the government's desire to pay back the original amounts drivers and proprietors paid for their taxi licenses; they want to be compensated for the value that the licenses had attained by the time Uber was allowed into the Quebec market.

They are also seeking compensatory damages for lost revenues they say are due to a competitor, Uber, being added to the playing field but under different rules than taxi drivers and owners had to play by when they entered the business.

 In total, the Quebec government is currently offering the industry $800 million in compensation.

This report by La Presse Canadienne was first published Oct. 15, 2019.