Uber set to cease operations in Quebec, reports say

Uber has said new rules from the Quebec government are 'challenging' and threaten its ability to continue service

A man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco on Dec. 16, 2014. Late last month Edmonton became the first jurisdiction pass a new bylaw legalizing ride-sharing companies such as Uber. Experts say other cities are bound to follow. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eric Risberg


MONTREAL – Published reports say ride-hailing company Uber could be about to cease operations in Quebec.

Reports in Montreal La Presse and the Journal de Montreal say the company could make an announcement as early as Tuesday because of new rules governing the service announced last week by the provincial government.

Uber’s Quebec general manager, Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, will speak to journalists in Montreal about the impact of those changes.

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Transport Minister Laurent Lessard said last Friday he would allow Uber to continue to operate under a pilot project for another year under expanded rules that include subjecting Uber drivers to background checks performed by police and no longer by private companies.

Additionally, Lessard said all Uber drivers will be required to undergo the same number of training hours as traditional taxi drivers, which is 35 hours, instead of 20 hours.

Uber vehicles would also require an inspection every 12 months.

Last week, the ride-hailing company called the new rules “challenging,” and said they threatened the company’s ability to continue offering its services to Quebecers.

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But the province has countered that the rules set “basic conditions to ensure safety.”

The pilot project allowing Uber to legally operate in Quebec went into effect in October 2016 and included the option of a one-year renewal.

Part of the pilot project includes a provision allowing the government to collect a small sum from each Uber fare, which is dedicated to helping the traditional taxi industry modernize.

Lessard said the money collected from the program totalled about $7.2 million over the course of the pilot project’s first year.