According to Reuters, Uber Technologies Inc. was stripped of its licenses last week in London due to public safety concerns, but the company is in the works of appealing the decision. On Tuesday, Uber announced that the company may discontinue its service in the Quebec province in Canada due to stricter regulations.
Uber’s Quebec general manager, Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, said the company would possibly discontinue its services on October 14, if the regulations aren’t lessened.
There are more than 50 office workers in the province of Quebec, along with 10,000 drivers, Guillemette said. It will also affect over a million users. Operations will cease in majors cities such as Montreal and Quebec City.
“We’re asking the government to renew the pilot project and let’s sit down and find a solution to this,” he said, asking for the government to lessen the regulations.
The new regulations require drivers to undergo 35 hours of training, which other taxi drivers within city do already. The drivers will also have to undergo a background check from the police instead of private agencies. These taxi drivers were never fond of Uber to begin with and have even led to protests against Uber.
Guillemette said Uber can work with the background check, it will not comply with new regulation of the 35 hour training session. He refers to the province of Quebec as "by far the most restrictive and severe in Canada."
Uber is known among the taxi service industry to not follow the rules and regulations that cities impose. Not every city have the same exact set of regulations, hence why Uber could be potentially stepping out of Quebec.
Uber has expanded its services to many cities and evaded officials in those cities while Uber was not approved. The company openly admitted to using Greyball technology to avoid officials who regulate ride services so Uber can operate in cities that the company didn’t meet regulations.
Uber’s threat to the leave Quebec if the provinces doesn’t lessen its regulation seems to have no affect on politicians.
“I don’t care,” Denis Coderre, the mayor of Montreal, told BNN news channel. “Frankly we need to have some regulation, and if they threaten to leave I don’t care.”
"We think that shows the population here wants more option in transport and that they want to continue to use Uber and what we want to do is to continue to do that, and we hope that the government will open communication with us and will be able to find a solution," said Guillemette.