Uber is in a whole world of trouble at the moment, with protests in France resulting in the closure of UberPOP (opens in new tab), a shutdown in South Korea, London Mayor Boris Johnson looking to cap Uber’s influence (opens in new tab), California wanting to make Uber drivers employees instead of contractors (opens in new tab) and New York Mayor De Blasio going for all-out war (opens in new tab).
Adding to the laundry list of legal cases Uber has to face, Canadian law firm Sutts, Strosberg has filed a class action lawsuit against Uber, for the use of Uber X and XL in Canada. The lawsuit claims both services are in violation of The Highway Traffic Act, section 39.1.
The law states that no driver is allowed to receive compensation without a license. Uber drivers in Canada do not receive taxi licenses, and thus under these rules may not be able to accept payment for rides in the country.
It should be noted that Sutts, Strosberg is representing a consortium of taxi and limousine companies, all quite angry at Uber for taking their business. It is the same in almost every country, but Uber doesn’t seem to help itself by skirting through the rules.
The mobile taxi service currently operates in Guelph, Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo. The current case, if won by Sutts, Strosberg, would make it illegal for Uber to operate in Ontario, where Toronto and Ottawa, the two most populous cities in Canada, are located.
It is not the first time Uber has had to deal with antiquated taxi laws that force drivers to own a license and work inside the monopoly. It had the same problem in a lot of US states, and has been forced to work with the UK laws with licenses, only allowing previous taxi drivers to join Uber.