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Uber Says It Will Cease Quebec Operations Over New Rules

  • Associated Press

FILE - People make their way into the building that houses the headquarters of Uber, June 21, 2017, in San Francisco.

Uber said Tuesday it will cease operations in Quebec next month if the province doesn't rescind new rules it introduced last week.

Quebec Uber boss Jean-Nicolas Guillemette said it will stop operating on October 14 if the government doesn't back down.

Transport Minister Laurent Lessard said Friday the province would allow Uber to continue to operate provided Uber drivers are required to undergo the same number of training hours as traditional taxi drivers, which is 35 hours, instead of the 20 hours required previously.

Guillemette said the province didn't consult with the company before introducing the new rules. He said that makes it impossible for the service to continue in Quebec. He said there are no training requirements in any other Canadian city and called it a "deal breaker."

"Trying to impose on us the same thing that is currently done in the old taxi industry, I don't think it will help us to move forward," he said

The announcement did not go over well with the mayor of Quebec's largest city.

"I don't care," Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre told BNN news channels. "Frankly we need to have some regulation and if they threaten to leave, I don't care."

Uber, founded in 2010 in San Francisco, has often faced opposition as it expanded. Taxi drivers complain that Uber drivers don't have to comply with the same licensing standards, giving the ride-hailing service an unfair advantage and placing the public at risk.

The company, which provides a smartphone application that connects passengers with drivers, argues it isn't a traditional transportation company.

The city of London said last week it would not renew Uber's license when it expires Sept. 30, citing a lack of corporate responsibility.

The city's transportation agency, Transport for London, said the factors it considered included Uber's "approach to reporting serious criminal offenses" and its use of software designed to evade the authorities

Gillies reported from Toronto.

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