Delays in creating joint taxi bylaw frustrating for cab owner

Harry Sullivan
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TRURO - The owner of a local cab company is wondering why the Town of Truro and the County of Colchester cannot get their act together regarding the creation of a joint, taxi bylaw.

George MacDonald, owner of Layton’s Taxi in Truro is frustrated by long delays in having a joint taxi bylaw drafted between the town and the County of Colchester.

And each time he tries to talk to someone about the issue, the blame for the delay is put on the other municipality, said George MacDonald of Layton’s Taxi.

“That’s the runaround I’ve been getting for the past 17 month’s I guess. We’ve been playing around for 17 months with this foolishness and apparently these two entities can’t seem to get together to turn around and hash something out,” he said.

“It’s getting completely ridiculous out here. I know for a fact there’s a van out here running around with a two-way radio in it. They’re not licensed as a taxi but they’re picking up calls and using it as a taxi service and getting away with it.”

Truro currently has a taxi bylaw while Colchester does not. In January, 2012, however, Colchester Mayor Bob Taylor reported to council that draft legislation for a joint taxi bylaw was than 90 per cent complete, but that it needed some fine tuning so that it could “mirror” the town’s bylaw.

The issue was raised at the last County of Colchester council meeting by Councillor Tom Taggart, who along with Coun. Christine Blair, serves as a representative on a joint committee with the town that is tasked with creating the terms for a common bylaw for the two communities.

MacDonald said not having a bylaw in the county has created an unfair system for the two legitimate cab companies that operate out of Truro and which are subject to licenses and fees that operators outside of the town’s boundaries, or those who do not wish to play within the rules, do not have to pay.

“So that’s what this is about,” he said, of the push for a joint bylaw. “To make sure everybody is on a level playing field. And that’s exactly what it is.”

During the county council meeting, Taggart said he had been recently approached by MacDonald who asked him why the county was holding up the process. Taggart said he did not believe that to be the case.

“I want to know if I’ve missed something here,” he told council, a position that was echoed by Blair.

“We brought it up a number of times and there have been a number of contacts and requests (to the town)

and nothing definite (came back in response),” she said.

Taylor said he has also tried to address the issue but after a number of meetings “continually were cancelled by people from the town of Truro,” the matter “just drifted.”

“But somebody at the Town of Truro is deflecting that blame on us, which is not right,” he said.

Truro Mayor Bill Mills, meanwhile, said the impression he has received from town staff, also indicated that his municipality was not to blame for the delay.

“I’ve been told the same thing, that we’re waiting on the county,” he said. “That just could be a communication thing. I will look into that.”

MacDonald said he just wants to have the issue dealt with so that any taxi operating within the town or its immediate surroundings are all subject to the same rules and regulations.

“It’s just a complete, complete runaround. And they expect my business to stay, in the perspective of being licensed and safety inspected, and have my drivers up to par and what have you. Yet they don’t want to do anything for the taxi business whatsoever. So it just frustrates the hell out of me,” he said.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous. They feel taxis around here are, I don’t know, the bottom of the list, I guess.

It’s an industry. It’s a big part of this town. If I shut my business down for one day, see how many people are going to scream to the town because 65 per cent of my business is made up by senior citizens, who absolutely need these taxis.”

 

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnharry

 

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  • Roy
    March 23, 2014 - 13:50

    This kind of thing went on for years in Trenton, Ont. Then they came up with a by-law that encompassed the surrounding Quinte area and included all taxi companies. This is what is needed to the Colchester area. A Colchester County Taxi Bylaw which includes all the communities.

  • why not
    March 22, 2014 - 08:56

    why not just move your taxi stand into the county and operate like the others....

  • Brian
    March 22, 2014 - 04:12

    My big concerns are drivers who are licensed to drive and should not be. They have a regular attending doctor who care for medical conditions and concerns and when it comes time to have their physical for their license for driving a taxi, the show up at the walk in clinic when examined at the walk in clinic they do not share all of their medical info to the doctor filling out their forms. I was at the hospital for blood work one morning and recognized a driver. He began the usual what are you here for conversation. He said he had epilepsy and needed his levels checked on a regular basis so he didn't black out. I asked him if he thought he should be driving taxi under these conditions he laughed and said "there are a number of driver who are worse than him" He said it's no big deal. All of us know enough to go to the "walk-in" clinic to get out driver’s license physicals done. That way the doctor has no idea of preexisting conditions. I would feel safer if the police could make sure that their physical paperwork was completed by their regular attending doctor who would have a complete history of their condition and be able to give a realistic snap shot of their condition for consideration for licensing. Also it's sad how many people use this industry to supplement government incomes that are used to help people out of work or "unable" to work...

  • GLEN
    March 21, 2014 - 16:36

    I am curious. The regulations regarding taxis seemed to work in favor for Mr McDonald when he operated taxis outside the town of Truro limits. Has he become a little bit of a hypocrite since purchasing Latyon's Taxi?

    • Buddy
      March 22, 2014 - 17:35

      I personally think the Town of Truro should leave the taxi Companies Alone, Burn the taxi by law fire their so called Taxi by Law Officer, Which you only see at inspection time,and then they would have more money for snow Removel.