July 11, 2022

RideFairTO is calling on Mayor Tory to put the people of Toronto first and help bring in rules that are fair to everyone – It’s never too late to do the right thing

Toronto, ON, July 11, 2022 – Yesterday’s global roll-out of thousands of leaked Uber documents sheds a devastating light on the tech giant’s influence over Toronto’s Mayor and City Council. As the exclusive coverage by the Toronto Star demonstrates, Mayor John Tory and key staffers not only implemented core items of Uber’s regulatory wish list, but also subsequently foiled attempts to establish a regulatory environment that serves the public interest.

“The leaked documents reveal John Tory was an early Uber “fan,” detailing how closely the billion-dollar company’s staff and lobbyists worked with a Mayor who, at the end of his second term, continued to frustrate attempts to re-establish safety measures and environmental protections he helped to dismantle beginning in 2015,” says Brendan Agnew-Iler of RidefairTO.

While the tragic death of Uber customer Nicholas Cameron in 2018 prompted a public outcry calling for the re-introduction of rigorous driver training, City staff delayed setting up the training while continuing to license over 40,000 Uber and Lyft drivers against the City’s own bylaws. As recently as December 2021, Mayor Tory personally intervened to prevent attempts by advocates like RidefairTO to ensure that driver training is meaningful and includes in-car testing, and to delay the restoration of emission standards yet again for Toronto’s vehicles for hire industry.

Now that we know the truth about how Uber misled and manipulated politicians it’s time to develop policies based on real data. Implementing Uber’s ideas for regulation flooded the streets with private cars, causing congestion and pollution, lowering service and working conditions, and ended meaningful training and vehicle emissions standards.

Unfortunately, the channels between Mayor Tory and Uber Canada remain intact. John Duffy, former top Tory campaign staffer once triggered a complaint to the integrity commissioner for his lobbying for Uber. Just this week, former Tory staffer Keerthana Rang defended the company’s behaviour as Uber’s recently appointed corporate communications lead for Canada.

“Mr. Tory can use his position to write regulations that work for riders, drivers and the environment instead of just serving tech companies,” says Earla Phillips, of RidefairTO. “For too long, Torontonians have paid the price, with road safety and emission protections stripped, and millions of rides moving from the TTC to private vehicles.”

When the City once again considers ride-hailing regulations in 2023, our Mayor and councillors need to demonstrate they care more about hallmark policies like VisionZero or TransformTO than about safeguarding relationships with increasingly discredited corporations, says RidefairTO.


For more information, please contact:
Thorben Wieditz at 647-409-8997 or thorben@metstrat.ca


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