ETC’s Accessible Taxi Licences Referral Motion

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Home at last. Almost 4 hours of verbal presentations from members of the public, and in the end a deferral motion that, although unanimous, may (or may not) have been achieved by an illegal procedure.

It seems to me that, after an first motion by Controller Hume was clearly defeated, and with a subsequent motion by Councillor Orser on the floor, the Chair did allow the original motion to be re-argued. Despite the fact that those arguments were clearly contrary to the second motion.

I will have to carefully review my audio recording of the evening’s events and consult what legislation I can find online. Give me some time, but I will get back to you on that.

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Addendum 2008/05/06 06:00PM:

I’m a person with multiple disabilities who worked as a London taxi owner/operator for years. Forced out of the business that I loved because, after expenses, there was less left for me than what people on welfare receive. The money that I had to pay Jim Donnelly Sr. to lease that piece of tin, could have made all the difference.

Something else that occurred to me over the course of the 4 hours that I sat there listening, was the obviously significant increase in the number of immigrant taxi drivers since I left the business. Most importantly, I have to wonder how many of them got suckered into buying plates at monumentally inflated prices from long-time plate owners who could see the writing on the wall? Who have now probably moved south to live out the rest of their lives in luxury without the slightest concern for those who are faced with the risk/fear of losing such investment? As usual, it’s the little guy who takes it on the chin. Whatever happens, I don’t think the Donnelly’s are going to suffer.

Addendum 2008/05/06 06:45PM:

Read the comments to this blog post, particularly the electrifying one just posted. Where’s a municipal Ombudsman when you need one?

Addendum 2008/05/06 08:30PM:

Blog stats hit new highs today. I think I touched a nerve. Or three. Thanks very much for all the emails, and keep them coming. I promise that I’ll read each and every one and respond, but it may take a while.

Addendum 2008/05/08 05:30PM:

My apology for the delay. The response to my blog posts has been rather overwhelming the past couple of days. Here is my unedited audio recording of the decision portion of the meeting:

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8 Responses to “ETC’s Accessible Taxi Licences Referral Motion”

  1. John Leschinski Says:

    So no new liscences for disabled taxis?

  2. fowgre Says:

    Instead of making a recommendation to Council that would then have had to have been voted upon, ETC asked staff to study it some more and report back to the committee on June 16. The committee may (or may not) decide to forward the issue to Council along with it’s recommendation at that time. Short answer… nothing’s been decided so far. Put another way, they’ve decided to not decide for now. Clear as mud?

  3. John Leschinski Says:

    Clear as glass. I was on the planning and development committee as well as the recreation committee a few years back. đŸ˜‰

  4. Butch McLarty Says:

    Regarding the bitter “20-year personal vendetta to ruin the cab industry” accusation made by Aboutown-manager supervisor-multiple-plate owner Rick Coburn last night at Centennial Hall (funny how Mr. Coburn never identified himself as an Aboutown manager and multi-plate owner, isn’t it?), here’s a fact-filled column that I wrote and published on http://www.altlondon.org last January.

    It speaks volumes about the credibility of the claims and accusations made by the self-serving cab bosses and their minions.

    Dated: Wednesday, January 30 2008 @ 04:57 PM EST
    Viewed: 256 times Edit

    CITY HALL ~ OPINION
    Cab boss’s accusations don’t hold a thimble-full of water

    JAMIE DONNELLY, vice-president of Aboutown Transportation Ltd., made the accusation on live radio (on 1290-CJBK-AM on Tues. Jan. 29) that an unidentified person — clearly he was referring to Ward 4 Councillor Steve Orser — has a “personal agenda” with respect to the London taxicab industry.

    Ignoring the fact that everyone on city council has a “personal agenda” — otherwise they wouldn’t seek elected office, let’s examine what Steve Orser has accomplished by sitting on a variety of industry advisory committees and taxi task forces, dating back to 1994, before he landed on city council in November of 2006.

    Orser has spearheaded the following initiatives through to their implementation:

    A Passenger Bill of Rights that is now displayed in each and every taxi-cab;

    A 24-7, seven-day-a-week, senior’s 10 per-cent discount off the regular taxi fare;

    Emergency flashing lights, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and in-cab cameras to improve driver safety and reduce police costs.

    Quite the “personal agenda” that Jamie Donnelly is complaining about.

    And to top it off, now Orser supports more wheelchair-accessible taxicabs to serve the disabled, driven by owner-operators.

    I won’t even mention that a young Stephen Orser has been personally decorated for meritorious conduct by a former Governor-General of Canada, the late Roland Michener, for saving the life of a drowning infant and then applying mouth-to-mouth rescusitation.

    Shame!

    Isn’t it time to start examining the personal agendas of the cab bosses who are forever trying to thwart positive licencing reform in the cab industry?

  5. fowgre Says:

    Funny how some people get all kinds of coverage on CJBK whereas they repeatedly ignored me the entire year of the municipal election despite all of my attempts to raise important issues. In this particular case, I can’t help but draw some conclusions from the fact that Aboutown does a considerable amount of advertising on CJBK using Jim Chapman spots.

  6. Butch McLarty Says:

    ANALYSIS

    Did you get the number of that speeding taxicab?
    or how to put the spin on the ol’ Eight Ball

    WONDER HOW the longstanding proposal to remove the cap on the number of wheelchair-accessible taxicabs got hijacked so easily at Centennial Hall last night?

    Here is the new report (at http://www.altlondon.org) from the civic administration that was walked into the public participation meeting as an “Added Communication” on May 5 at 7 p.m.

    Read it and you’ll see that the “taxi industry stakeholders” had a council-approved private meeting with senior City staff prior to the scheduled public participation meetings to … ah … iron out a few last-minute details.

    Also note that the City’s Accessibility Advisory Committee was not invited to this private meeting, nor were any members of the disabled community, nor the general public.

    Everything was worked out before the public participation meeting, making the public meeting a charade.

    This, ladies and gentlemen is what is called “Regulatory Capture” where the industry to be regulated has undue influence over the regulator, often to the detriment of the public interest.

    Simply stated, both City staff and several elected officials have folded like a $5 accordion under intense pressure from the cab bosses and their minions.

  7. fowgre Says:

    I’m struggling to get my head around this. It’s not as if everybody that sits around the Council horseshoe is a dolt. There’s some bright people there. And it’s not as if they’ve never had concerns about PROCESS communicated to them. I myself placed particular emphasis upon it when I appeared before the Governance Task Force. So I’d like to hear from each and every single member of the committee, if they were aware of what had transpired before or at any time during the public participation meeting. If so, I’d like to hear whether or not any single member of the committee made any attempt to have the public informed at any time before or during the meeting or before the motions/votes were held.

  8. Butch McLarty Says:

    Well, there were limited copies of the “Added Communications” available at the table in the front lobby last night.

    I wasn’t able to lay my hands on one last night, but I saw that others had them.

    I received an electronic version e-mailed to me by the Committee secretary this afternoon.

    Regarding dolts on council, true, they’re not all dolts but they regularly miss key details on things.

    And let’s not forget that several members of city council are, shall we say, very friendly with Big Jim of Aboutown.

    In truth, once the clerk’s office made the recommendations regarding amendments to the taxi licensing by-law and the public meeting set, no more private meetings should have been permitted.

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