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Uber is leaving Quebec after tough new rules passed

Uber is leaving Quebec after tough new rules passed


Au revoir

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Today, Uber said it will cease operations in Quebec next month after the Canadian province passed new regulations that the company opposed, Reuters is reporting. The decision to pull out of Canada’s second most populous province comes as Uber is battling a decision by London officials to revoke its license, dealing a blow to new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s effort to rebuild the company’s image.

Uber’s general manager in Quebec said the company would end its service on October 14th, leaving open the possibility that a deal could be struck with regulators in the meantime. The company called on the government to rethink new rules that require drivers to undergo 35 hours of training, in line with requirements for traditional taxi drivers.

“Among other things, the proposed rules would impose onerous training obligations developed for a different industry on ridesharing drivers, without taking into account the benefits that come with new technology such as in-app safety features, GPS tracking of every trip, a two-way rating system, and 24/7 support,” Uber’s Quebec general manager Jean-Nicolas Guillemette said in a statement.

This is a familiar tactic for Uber, which has been known to threaten cities and rile its user base when confronted with regulations that it thinks will dampen its operations. Last year, Uber pulled out of Austin, Texas, after the city council passed regulations requiring drivers submit to enhanced background checks, including fingerprinting. Earlier this year, the company returned to Austin after Texas’ governor signed a law superseding the city’s rules.

Uber employs more than 50 office workers in Quebec, where more than 10,000 drivers have worked for the company. Lyft only operates in the US, but is reportedly eyeing a move north of the border into Canada.