Mississauga committee meeting postponed amid rowdy anti-Uber protest
Taxi drivers shouted down a public meeting in Mississauga Monday that was meant to discuss the next steps in a pilot project that would put Uber drivers back on the road.
The meeting had to be postponed after council members failed to calm the protesters, who were yelling and being unruly.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie, city staff and the city’s Public Vehicle Pilot Program Committee were all on hand to discuss ride-sharing options but Coun. Ron Starr asked security to clear the council chambers, telling the crowded room that the meeting would be moved behind closed doors.
“Shame, shame, shame,” protesters yelled at Crombie as she left the meeting.
Starr said he thought the emotion in the room was “surprising.”
“We adjourned the meeting because it got so loud and boisterous that we had to call security and the police,” he said. “The taxi industry feels that everyone should be following the same regulations that we have in the city right now but Uber is not agreeing with that and that’s what caused the disruption.”
He said this was the committee’s third meeting and they were hoping to have a recommendation for council this Wednesday. However, today’s postponement means they likely won’t meet their deadline.
It’s likely the issue won’t go to council until September, Starr said. One of the major points of contention between the ride-sharing service and the taxi industry has been their inability to agree on a cap of the amount of vehicles licensed to operate. Uber refuses to adhere to a cap while the taxi industry insists on having one.
“One of the resolutions today was that the number of cars would be unlimited so that caused a lot of the consternation (in the chamber),” Starr said.
Mississauga council banned Uber X drivers from operating in the city on May 11, meaning only licensed taxis and limousines are now legally permitted to work in the city.
However, council passed a second motion in favour of creating a committee to come up with ways to reintegrate ride-sharing services as part of a pilot program.