Uber is poised to stop operating in Quebec as soon as next month, according to statements from the ride-sharing app.
Just days after being forced out of London, England, Uber may now leave Canada’s second-most populous province due to strict rules enacted by the government. Uber has said that if the new rules are not relaxed or removed completely, the company will leave Quebec on Oct. 14. It was exactly one year prior on that date that the province and Uber agreed to operational terms.
Quebec’s Transport Minister Laurent Lessard agreed to renew terms on the condition that Uber drivers undergo 35 hours of training, the same amount that taxi drivers must undergo. Right now in Quebec, Uber drivers must undergo 20 hours of training, and the province is the only one in Canada that enforces such a rule.
Director-general of Uber Québec Jean-Nicolas Guillemette said Uber was not asked or informed about the new rule changes.
“What the Ministry has announced is an attempt to impose old rules on a new technological model,” said Guillemette.
Other rules include criminal background checks done by police and not third-party companies, and car inspections every year. Guillemette called these new rules “by far the most restrictive and severe in Canada.”
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard offered little hope that negotiations with Uber would be successful.
“If we this experiment continues, that’s fine. But if we’re asked to make more concessions, that is not realistic,” said Couillard.
Montreal mayor Denis Coderre was a little more blunt.
“Frankly, we need to have some regulations, and if they are threatening to leave, I don’t care,” he told BNN.
In the first year of Uber’s existence in Quebec, the province collected a small fee from each fare that went towards helping the taxi industry modernize. The province collected approximately $7.2 million from this subsidy.
The province has not responded to Uber’s leniency requests yet, but it’s all but confirmed that Uber will more than likely be on the way out by the middle of October.
When Uber left London, UBEReats continued to stay active, but if the ride-sharing app leaves Quebec, it will more than likely bring the popular food-delivery service with it as well.