Not so fast: the City of Calgary may be stepping in to put a stop to Uber.

Uber, the popular ride sharing service, launched in Calgary on October 15, 2015 and was very popular with local residents. However, the City of Calgary’s official stance is that Uber is operating illegally and in contravention to several municipal bylaws. The City has applied to the courts for an injunction stopping all Uber drivers from operating. Failure to observe this potential injunction could result in jail time:

It’s not a foregone conclusion that the City of Calgary will be successful in their application for an injunction. The City of Edmonton recently failed in its own application:

The City of Edmonton responded to this failure by proposing regulations for Uber drivers:

Under the City of Edmonton’s proposed new regulations, a separate class of drivers called “Private Transportation Providers” (“PTP”) would be created to accommodate Uber drivers. PTPs would still be forced to register with the city, but there would be no limit on the number of PTP licenses provided. The PTP class of drivers would have to meet the following criteria:

  • Possess a Class 1, 2, or 4 provincial driver’s licence
  • Undergo a criminal record check
  • Receive a one or two year licence from the city
  • Own a driver’s licence for two years or more
  • Have proper commercial insurance
  • Undergo a criminal record check
  • Have an annual mechanical inspection of their vehicle

The bylaw has yet to be passed, but many taxi drivers are not happy. During a recent debate on the issue, several taxi drivers expressed their protest by removing their shirts and shouting at city officials:

Taxi drivers plan next move in Edmonton Uber fight

However, not even these shirtless men could defeat the democratic process. The fate of the City of Edmonton’s proposed changes will be decided shortly via an upcoming vote. What does this mean for other cities, like Vancouver? If the City of Edmonton’s proposed legislation goes ahead, it could create a legal framework for other cities across Canada. The proposed criteria for Uber drivers do address many of the supposed safety concerns that officials in other cities and ICBC are using to justify their opposition to Uber.

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