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Tory won’t go after Uber unless ‘under the appropriate circumstances’

Tory won’t go after Uber unless ‘under the appropriate circumstances’

680News February 3, 2016 Newsstaff

Toronto Mayor John Tory isn’t ready to fight UberX in court, and will only do it “under the appropriate circumstances.”

Tory said Wednesday after an hour-long in-camera meeting, that going to court to file another injunction against the ride-sharing company doesn’t make sense until the city builds a stronger case.

“The courts, at some point in time, say, ‘Look, how many times do you have to be told no? If and when our solicitor and other officials decide to advise us it’s time to seek an injunction and it’s appropriate, that they … will maximize our chances of winning.”

Toronto’s previous attempt to push for an injunction last summer was thrown out by a judge.

“I can’t imagine what the questions would be like here with you and with the taxi industry and others if we went forward at a time that was not optimal and sought an injunction and lost again,” Tory said.

The city’s municipal license and standards department is expected to present a framework on regulating Uber in the spring. It’s unlikely that a court would hear any injunction application before that report is expected.

And that’s just fine with Uber.

“Mayor Tory and Toronto City Council have all recognized that Uber and ride-sharing is a unique business in need of a new regulatory framework,” said Susie Heath, Senior Communications Associate at Uber. “By collaborating with officials, we have been making progress in Toronto and in communities across Canada such as Edmonton, who just last week became the first jurisdiction in Canada to adopt regulations for ride-sharing.”

But supporters of Toronto’s taxi industry are not as upbeat.

“The mayor’s office has been practicing delay, deny until we die,” said Coun. Jim Karygiannis, a vocal Uber opponent. “We delay the fact that Uber is illegal, we deny the fact that it’s been brought forward time and time again. And it’s until the industry – the taxi industry, the only professional industry – dies.”

Toronto taxi drivers have been planning to meet this weekend about another round of protests at city hall, possibly disrupting NBA All-Star Game events beginning on Feb. 12.