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December 2, 2015 – Open Letter to Federal, Provincial Ministers and TDSB Chair re: Uber

December 2, 2015                                                                               OPEN LETTER


The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J9


The Honourable Reza Moridi
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
14th Floor, Mowat Block 900 Bay Street Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1L2


Ms. Robin Pilkey, Chair
Toronto District School Board
5050 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M2N 5N8

Dear Ministers and Chair:

Attached please find a copy of a “next-Steps Employment centers” flyer.  This flyer is advertising various workshops being offered by the Toronto District School Board in Vaughan.  I have great concern with respect to one of the workshops “U B E R Hiring Event”.

UBER hires individuals who operate as their private vehicles on a pay-per-ride basis, much like traditional taxi drivers.  Unfortunately, the insurance carried by individuals on their private vehicles becomes null and void when the vehicle is used for commercial purposes, which includes pay-per-ride transactions.  This leaves the driver and the passengers without any insurance in the event of an accident.

Also, Section 39.1 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act states:

(1) A driver of a motor vehicle other than a bus shall not pick up a passenger for the purpose of transporting him or her for compensation where a licence, permit or authorization is required to do so by,

(a) the Public Vehicles Act;
(b) a municipal by-law passed under Part IV of the Municipal Act, 2001;
(c) a regulation made under the Department of Transport Act (Canada); or
(d) an airport or airport authority,
except under the authority of such licence, permit or authorization.


By hiring individuals to pick up a passenger for the purpose of transporting him or her for compensation in municipalities which have enacted by-laws with respect to the orderly operation of the taxi industry, UBER is enticing individuals to break Ontario law.

I am concerned that the Toronto District School Board is using Employment Ontario, an employment and training network, under the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, which is funded, in part, by the Government of Canada, is sponsoring workshops which, ultimately, encourage those who are looking for work to break Ontario laws and municipal by-laws.

I look forward to your timely response to this matter.