Uber says it fears losing drivers in Quebec because of regulations

MONTREAL – Ride-hailing company Uber says it is scared it will lose drivers in Quebec because of what it calls restrictive and complex regulations in the province.

Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, Uber Quebec’s general manager, says an obligation for drivers to obtain one particular type of permit is problematic, especially for drivers who want to work fewer hours a week.

“It’s certain that the class 4C permit creates a serious barrier to getting into the business,” he said.

Uber has been operating a pilot project in Quebec since Oct. 21.

Drivers who were with Uber before that date have until Dec. 9 to get the permit, while those who have signed up since are supposed to have it.

Guillemette says he doesn’t know how many drivers might leave the company.

The one-year pilot project stipulates that Uber drivers collect federal and provincial sales tax and contribute to a fund to help modernize the taxi industry.

Under the agreement with the provincial government, Uber must pay 97 cents per ride for the first 50,000 hours their drivers work every week. That rises to $1.17 a ride for the next 50,000 hours and $1.33 a ride for anything above 100,000 hours.

The taxi industry previously tried to stop the project by legal means but a judge ruled in September there were no compelling reasons to prevent Uber from proceeding with it.