Public Hearing for the Taxi Bylaw
Councillor Robin Gervais chaired the March 14 town council meeting, absent was Councillor Chris Conlin and Mayor Jim Ahn.
Five residents stepped forward and spoke up for the taxi bylaw at the public hearing. The first reading of the bylaw was passed at the Feb. 8 meeting and second reading was passed at the Feb. 22 meeting. Eight people were in attendance at the council chambers for the bylaw.
Roy Herold has been operating a taxi business for over 20 years in the town of Fox Creek. He had many questions on the bylaw, such as the criminal record check, and expressed his concerns and frustration, on potential additional costs to his business for inspections.
He left the council chambers before any further discussions were had, saying he “would not follow the bylaws and feels it is ridiculous. Call my lawyer and do what you need to do!”
Kate Young said, “For the past three years I have used the taxi service and I am very interested in everything staying how it has been. It is good service and I’ve known Roy since he was two years old.”
She commented it is great to have the tickets from the town, referring to 20 discounted tickets per month for seniors. Further in the meeting, Councillor Brenda Burridge asked the Director of Community Services, Jennifer Becker to bring back the form and more information to council regarding the process on the tickets. Currently, there is a five dollar discount to the eight dollar cab cost, and a doctor form requested.
“I’ve lived here for 57 years, I think I deserve a ride,” said Ms. Young.
Councillor Jim Hailes said that they are not asking the rates to change, but asking the rates be posted in the cab. He added the same people were at a taxi public hearing a year ago expressing their same concerns; council is trying to address these concerns. Taxi’s should already be getting inspections, so he does not see how this is an issue.
Councillor Burridge said she would never want to see anyone stranded for a ride. She added the estimated cost for an inspection is $200 from Ok Tire/Cory’s Engine Repair.
“We are doing it for the safety of the community, we can’t enforce bylaws without them,” said Councillor Burridge.
“We don’t want to put anyone out of business,” said Councillor Robin Gervais.
Fox Creek’s RCMP Sergeant Warren Wright spoke about criminal record checks. “Time to time, people have bumps in their lives, if they don’t pass the criminal record checks, it could jeopardize their employment and they could be fearful of their jobs. Criminal record checks are not always putting a person at risk. I think council has to ask, what happens when employee doesn’t pass.”
Criminal record checks are free, available at the local detachment.
Community Peace Officer, Josh Towle said, “A pedophile could come into town and set up a cab company, we cannot stop them; we need to have the bylaws in place.”
Dan Wardlock, a driver for Roy’s taxi company, said “I like this town and the people are good, no matter what time of the day, Roy is there.”
Councillor Gervais concluded the public hearing by saying, “We do not want additional costs, we are doing this out of concern for other cab companies, it is not our intent to shut anyone down or pick on anybody and we want to make it a level playing field.”
Further in the meeting, more discussion followed.
Councillor Hailes motioned to table the third and final reading of the taxi bylaw to the next meeting (March 29), pending the requested amendments (see below) and administration checking in with legal. Four Councillors were in favor, one was opposed. The motion was carried.
Councilor Hailes was concerned about the top light on the cab (see #31 on the bylaw) and changing the criminal record check period from five years to three years (see #13 b of the bylaw).
Councillor Tom Thompson requested to change the appeal cost from $250 to $100 (see #39 on the bylaw).
- See taxi bylaw: Bylaw 761-2016 Taxi Bylaw (as published in the February Town Council Highlights on March 1.)
Councillor Chris Stadnyk said “I want to scratch the whole thing.” He was the Councillor who voted against the motion.
What do you think?
Does the Town of Fox Creek need to have a taxi bylaw in place? Should the owner & drivers have a criminal record check?
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