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Dec. 16, 2008

From The H.T.D.A.

The executive of The Halifax Taxi Drivers Association would like to take this opportunity to thank all the drivers of the Halifax Taxi Zone, who supported the cause of unity amongst the drivers in the Taxi Industry.

As President I have to say, it's been an endless challenge to bring all the drivers together. Unfortunately because of lack of financial support we were not able to pay for a hall rental to host a final meeting.

It's quite obvious, that all taxi owners, are independent business operators and have their own agenda for conducting their business, within the guide lines of the taxi regulations.

The present and past executive, committee members and volunteers have devoted a lot of their personal time and expressed the importance of having all the owners and drivers working together so all could enjoy the many benefits which could have been achieved but unfortunately we were only able to convince just over 50 percent of the group.

The importance of having a voice to represent that group made a positive impact on council and the Taxi Advisory Board, when decisions were being made concerning the Taxi Industry. Without this kind of representation, the industry would have been de-regulated and left wide open across the zones. Once again thanks for your strong support.

We would like to advise all the owners and drivers, there is an Association, which has been registered under the Societies Act and two of the principal parties involved are Ralph Doyle and Vladimer (George) Ostarcevic. The registered name is Halifax Taxi Driver's Owner's Association and to the best of our knowledge have signed up more than 80 members of the taxi industry in the Halifax zone. They have also retained legal advise and are planning to host a meeting in the near future, all are encouraged to attend. Let it be known at this time the Halifax Taxi Drivers Association remains in name only and not in body.

The outgoing executive members would like to wish each and every taxi owner - driver in HRM a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, as well as their family and friends.

Good luck, Ralph and George, we wish you all the best in your future endeavours. In the best interest and future of the taxi industry we hope you can pull it off and 100 percent of the owners and drivers will unite under your association.

Sincerely,
Darrell J. Downey
President H.T.D.A. (resolved)


Sept. 8, 2008

From The HTDA

The executive of the Halifax Taxi Drivers Association would like to take this opportunity to advise it's membership that the rumour, that the association has dissolved, is not true.

We are still very involved and have been meeting on a regular basis to keep the organization afloat. With deep regrets we were unable to register the HTDA with Joint Stocks, as the name The Halifax Taxi Drivers Association had already been on reserve and since has been registered.

The executive has been meeting regularly with Ralph Doyle and George (Vladimir Ostarcevic), concerning a possible shift in becoming members under this group. We have been discussing articles under their proposed constitution to see if some of the articles can be instituted before we call a general meeting and at that time a decision will be made and the executive officers will be calling for nominations for various positions within the association.

The meeting will be posted at a later date and the members will be advised. It will be important that all the drivers within the Halifax Zone attend. "It's Your Industry"

Sincerely,
Darrell Downey
President, HTDA


July. 15, 2008

From The HTDA

The executive of the Halifax Taxi Drivers Association would like to take this opportunity to thank it's members and those who have supported us throughout the ongoing battle with HRM council, especially those who made presentations at the public hearing and who attended the meetings.

It was a welcoming feeling to see so many show up at the public hearing and I can assure you the presentations played an important role in the outcome of councils decision not to deregulate the industry.

We realize that not everybody was pleased with the decisions made, however we feel that we were successful. If the staff report to council had been totally accepted in it's entirety the industry would have suffered a severe blow. We knew from the beginning that not only did a number of councillors agree with deregulation and this was supported by mayor Kelly, who wanted to open the industry.

On the other hand we would sincerely like to thank the councillors who supported us after many debates and who voted against deregulating the taxi industry.

Once again transferability has been turned down without much discussion, this was no surprise, however don't give up hope there's a fall election and perhaps a new council may decide otherwise.

The other issue at hand is an increase in taxi fares. We realize that it appears nothing is being done but that is not the case. Council is aware of the situation and we would appreciate your suggestions in this matter.

Once again we would like to stress the importance of being united and having our concerns addressed. We have heard the discontent of some drivers, but then again that's expected, not everyone likes changes.

It's been a very difficult few years for the industry and we acknowledge that many individuals have their own ideas and agendas and that some feel that the show of force is the answer, to resolve issues, we are confronted with. This may or may not be the resolution, but one thing is for sure and that is that taxi owners and drivers need to unite to have a voice and for some reason or reasons this has not happened and the executive is tired and frustrated and can't fully appreciate the mind set of the drivers or owners who can make it possible.

We have conducted interviews with the press, TV and radio after council made it's decisions and as usual, the industry was not given a fair shake and the media, only used what was sensational for their own cause, not ours.

We seem to now have another individual by the name of Angela Mombourquette who writes for the West Community Herald, picking up the torch for David Rhodenizer. It's quite apparent some journalists in HRM have nothing better to do, ignore her and hopefully she will find a better topic to write about, other than her own personal experiences and opinions. Just another example to show how unorganized of a group we are. One member of the executive put it in these words and I have to say we agree, " Taxi Drivers are at best, most unorganized, bickering, and uncoordinated group in existence. Having said all this, we are now at a crossroad and only the taxi owners and drivers can determine what direction the existing HTDA can go. As a result of paying for meeting places, press releases, office rent and supplies the funds of the association have been exhausted and if we are to continue we need your help.

The executive is going to schedule a meeting in the near future and hopefully you will be able to attend to support the HTDA.

Sincerely,
Darrell Downey
President, HTDA


June. 13, 2008

Letter to Council

June 12, 2008

To: the Mayor Hon. Peter Kelly

To: all Councilors

From: Halifax Taxi Drivers Association

This letter is in regard to the Staff report dated May22, 2008

Subject: Taxi Owner Licence Issues (Supplementary Report)

Item No. 8.1 issued June10, 2008

Please note, under the heading "Origin" the staff report begins by confirming that Council asked for information on specific points.

These points are in the form of questions asked by councilors and are outlined on page two of the staff report under the heading "Background"

Those in audience at the public hearing on Feb.26/08 and councilors themselves were witness to the specific request made by council to Staff which was to simply supply information. Rather than supplying the requested information Staff has done two things that we have taken exception to.

First staff has taken the opportunity with in this report to recap their own agenda (which is to deregulate the taxi industry). Second, authors of the staff report have taken the initiative to advise Council on where you should stand on this issue. We point to page 10 of the document under the heading "Summary" to verify this complaint.

It is our strong feeling that when a segment of the public, such as the Taxi Industry, is at issue with council then the public should reasonably expect impartial treatment from those public servants employed as City Staff.

We find this staff report to be far from impartial and without the avenue to debate it we respectfully ask that you to disregard all parts of this report that do not deal directly with the question originally asked by Council.

For the Halifax Taxi Drivers Association



March. 27, 2008

From The HTDA

The stats are in, we now know that 40% of the members of the H.T.D.A.are on line and monitoring this web site.This puts a responsibility on members that are on line that is summarized as follows.

Communication is essential to the effort to organize the cab drivers and since the cost of producing a news letter has been to high and driver support for creating it has failed to materialize, then all that is left is to use this web site, as the a centre of information in an effort to keep members informed about the Taxi Industry.

So, those of you who monitor the news of this business on line must consider taking on the role of messengers to and for those who are not yet computer literate. How? Check this web site regularly and when there is subject matter of interest to others print a copy and pass along the info. Why? because drivers are in the dark about developments in this business and therefore are the victim of rumors and false information.

It is of great importance that this web site keeps going and growing. Otherwise the industry will slip into the darkness of the past where drivers knew practically nothing of what was going on.

This website is an important link between drivers and the events of this business and the work of the HTDA. So keep tuned to this site and write in. If you hear a rumor post it here so it can be investigated. If you have a question about the Taxi business send it in, someone probably has an answer for you.

So now you know. Feel free to tell the others.

G.Jollymore, Secretary


March 24, 2008

Very Important. Available now.
Information hand outs.

 

For drivers to give to customers. Hand out, in its entirety shown below.

 

Hand outs tell "Myths versus Facts" with regards to the current council debate over deregulating the taxi business. These hand outs go on to suggest that our satisfied customers should contact their councilor to tell them they support the Taxi drivers in this struggle to maintain the status quo.

Why do we need these?

 

The only thing left for taxi drivers to influence councils' decision on our future is to get the public to support us by talking to their councilor.

 

The contact phone numbers for each councilor are included in the hand outs.

 

Time is of the essence on this project, we may only have a couple of weeks to gain this much needed public support. That is the name of the game at this time. Here is why. Every member of the public that speaks up on our behalf is more effective than a dozen or more of us speaking out.

 

So get these handouts in your car ASAP and get familiar with their content so you can talk about it with your customers.

 

Remember, we have no alternative at this time, Councilors don't want to talk to us and city staff is now holding the ball in the form of another staff report that is due soon (remember the first staff report) 
The only alternative left is to get public support for our cause.

 

To obtain your handouts call the H.T.D.A. office phone number 405-3989 to confirm hand out supply then drop by the office between 9am-5pm at 102 Chain lake Drive Suite 228 (Vantage Point Business Centre right next to the Lake View Hotel the office door beside Pepper Jacks Pub)  or evenings contact one of the volunteers or executives on the street. Also "A" Cab has a supply of these hand outs.

 

 These hand outs including the myth versus fact layout were designed so that you don't have to be embarrassed to give them to your customer. 

WE CAN MAKE THE TOOLS ITS UP TO YOU TO USE THEM !

 

G. Jollymore

Secratary HTDA       

FRONT

BACK




Feb. 26, 2008

Our Presentation at City Hall

Good evening Your Worship, District Councilors and attending gallery observers, my name is Bob MacLintock and I him here this evening to speak on behalf of the Halifax Taxi Drivers Association. The HTDA has 335 members signed in the Halifax Zone. We are either working or retired drivers, some of whom also have rooflights they lease. Many of our members have 25, 30 even 40 plus years serving this city. We are men and women, citizens, voters and taxpayers. We believe we have a responsibility to provide the citizens and visitors to HRM a high quality service at a reasonable price in a professional manner. We believe that in the large part we deliver on that responsibility and are both confused and dismayed that we have to be here to defend our livelihood against such sweeping changes to our industry as are being debated this evening.

The motion before you tonight and the report it stemmed from will result in such sweeping changes to the livelihood of the men and women who have been on the front lines building this city that the common decency of its intent has to be called into question. Especially when no consultation with the service providers, the actual drivers, was involved.

Halifax is a unique taxi market with its residential business of day to day trips to work, the doctor etc, and its large transient market from our ports, military establishments and tourism segment. It has a large telephone/dispatch market and in good times a vibrant but highly variable walk-in or hail by the side of the road market. To serve these markets professionally, with the safest and most practical vehicles it is best to have a stable fleet of service providers who can go to work with a certain secure knowledge that a decent days' work will result in a reasonable profit. This can best be accomplished by limiting the number of taxi vehicles. licensed to work in a given area. (See attached abstract Entry Controls in Taxi Regulation by Schaller Consulting, September, 2006) Compared to other municipalities that strike a ratio of cabs to population the Halifax ratio is high, as it should be for the complex markets it serves.

Since 1995 when limitations were introduced the quality of service cab drivers have provided has improved as is reflected in the professionalism of the drivers and the quality of the vehicles they are driving. Drivers participated in the "Love the Way We Live" seminars surrounding the G-7 Summit, the Taxi Host Programme for the cruise ship market; many obtained National Certification before all new drivers were required to. The Hotel Standards Programme has put better cars, at our major hotels and in front of our citizen's homes. A stable market and workforce has encouraged this happen.

Recent technological improvements implemented by the brokers in the Halifax Zone have improved response time to the dispatch market considerably such that unacceptable wait times under normal circumstances are unique and brought on by external causes such as dangerous driving conditions and construction delays and congetstion. Frequently customers will call all three brokerages resulting in three cars being dispatched for one trip. When a car arrives to pick up a passenger and that person isn't there that car has been taken out of service and that driver has lost time that can not be replaced.

During busy event type evenings thousands can be let out on the streets within a short period of time. We admit it can be a frustrating experience for those caught in these peak periods but submit that this is not a problem for the taxi industry alone to resolve. It wouldn't matter how many cars you license, demand will exceed supply. Rather, this should be viewed as an urban transportation issue and Metro Transit and the Hospitality Industry should be shouldering some responsibility.

During the regionalization process it was decided to keep the original taxi zones in place as a tool to ensure service availability and local knowledge in the less densely populated areas. To a large extent that has worked. If the zoning restrictions are lifted it will be difficult to get a taxi in the areas outside the downtown core during peak periods as taxis from the County and Dartmouth will abandon their traditional markets for the perceived fast buck of the big city. We acknowledge that there have been population growths and shifts since regionalization and therefore a review of current taxi to population ratios may be in order.

Prior to 1995 most drivers entered the industry by renting a fully equipped vehicle on a daily rate. Sometimes it was from a fleet owner who did not drive, sometimes it was a driver who had a couple of cars to rent out. The driver would start out in this arrangement and continue until another opportunity took him away from the industry or he invested in his own vehicle. The industry needs these kind of rental arrangements. After 1995 it became possible to lease a roof light with out a car underneath it. This was good for career drivers who became sick and needed some income until their recovery, but with limitations it became possible to lease the roof light without any other industry involvement. This kind of absentee lessor situation is an unexpected consequence of limitations but is not much different functionally than the way most of us started our careers. We believe if driver demographics were made available you would discover that premature deaths and imminent retirements will make roof lights available at an acceptable pace.

In conclusion we respectfully ask you to seek other solutions to perceived problems in service delivery that will show some respect and common decency to the men and women who have assumed considerable physical and financial risk to perform their role in making this the vibrant city it has become. Do not let this motion pass.



Feb. 26, 2008

President, Darrell J. Downeys Presentation

LIMITATIONS:
Myself and other drivers believe we have a responsibility to provide a high-quality of service to the Citizens of Halifax Regional Municipality. Under a system of limitations this is even a greater challenge, as the Citizens' expectations sometimes exceed reality when it comes to response time. Under limitations we can guarantee a reasonable response time, a fair fare and a professional driver.

WITHOUT LIMITATIONS, Some people are of the opinion that the communities will be better served if more cabs are allowed into the industry and this can be achieved by removing limitations, however this is not the case and will be addressed in a later paragraph. The drivers are already feeling the effects of long hours of work and the risks involved because of the night shifts, which is usually during the closing of the downtown core pubs and bars. Unfortunately, because of these circumstances some drivers have left the industry and sought other employment opportunities where the pay was consistent and the risks were less and it afforded them more time to spend with family affairs. Without limitations, the drivers in the industry would experience a decrease in their income, making financial hardships and changing their quality of life to sub-standard, perhaps in some cases having to rely on the government for financial assistance for themselves and their family.

The increase or decrease of the number of cabs in a community was usually determined by the law of supply and demand when warranted. The number of cabs in other municipalities are determined by using a ratio formula in accordance with the population. Comparing Halifax with other cities we have more cabs per population than any other city of comparative size. Most decisions of this nature are made by their Taxi Committee Boards or Commissions and that's why it is necessary to keep our present Limo-Taxi Advisory Committee in place, with necessary changes, so the stake holders can have more input into the decision making process and that the committee be given more authority, so that council does not have to deal with the day to day operations of the taxi industry.

Image is a very important factor in today's society and the image of the Taxi Driver has not always been a good one. But because of limitations and regulations coming about in the Industry our Image has changed dramatically as drivers have a better self-esteem and drive nicer vehicles and have a cleaner appearance in most cases.

LIMITATIONS offers the industrious driver a sense of security in regards to a consistent income which could enable him/her to use as a form of collateral to a financial institution. It would give the driver a sense of dignity and they could very quickly become career orientated with a professional attitude towards their work.

It has been proven in a number of studies as late as 2006 - Schaller Consultants- that deregulation of the Taxi Industry is not necessarily the best approach to resolve the shortage of available taxis upon the public's request. It was concluded in their findings that by lifting limitations that more taxis, as the result of a "FREE MARKET" concept as suggested by some, does not mean a better and quicker response, but it would lead to a surplus of cabs without work and cause deterioration of both the driver and their vehicles.

In some cases the number of cabs in a community were increased or decreased based on the market which can easily be dealt with in this community of HRM. One has to realize that things have changed over the last 12 years since the last presentation from a Taxi group which was submitted to Regional Counsel in 1995.

The cost of being an owner/driver of a Taxi has substantially increased. Not only the cost of their vehicles, but gas, the up-keep, mechanical repairs, the hourly rates and computerized technology, office rent, Insurance and etc.

Even other costs in their personal life and more so if they have families. Most drivers live from day -to- day with no hope of any financial support at the end of their career. No retirement plan, no medical plan unless they have a working partner or spouse who are eligible for both.

I request that limitations stay in place so drivers can maintain a certain quality of life and provide a high standard of service to the Citizens of H.R.M.

ZONES:
I heard that by removing zones the Citizens of H.R.M. would be provided with a better service and a quicker response. One has to remember why Zones were established in the first place. The reason being was they didn't want the drivers livelihood in those areas, to be affected by more cabs than what was required in the zone and that the citizens in the zones would have taxis available to service them and council agreed to this format. However, now that the Halifax Zone has required most of the Liquor bars and Hotels in H.R.M. and the owners feel they are inadequately serviced because of the large disbursement of patrons during late night and early morning hours and that the Taxi Drivers should bare the brunt of the lack of transportation not the owners of the establishments or Halifax Transit.

Upon examining the situation I feel that there are a couple of alternatives that could be explored which would not require the removal of the zone structure, which is also used in other major cities throughout Canada and the United States and elsewhere worldwide.

1). First and foremost, THE PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM, perhaps their hours of operation could be extended or special shifts be considered between the hours of the 12:00 am and 4:00 am during the days of Friday and Saturday.
2): The downtown business and Hotel associations could obtain funds and pay for extended hours of the Transit system to accommodate their influx of patrons.
3): HRM could subsidize the installation of cameras and or shields for the night drivers.
4): HRM could consider pricing differentials for the night drivers.

Myself and other drivers realize that the citizens of H.R.M. deserve the best service available and do not wish to be neglected in their Zones because of some unhappy customers in another zone. Making unwarranted and unnecessary changes to accommodate a few. I request that the alternatives be considered and leave the Zones remaining, this would not only effect the drivers income but provide a less than adequate service to each zone.

LEASING: (Renting)
The owners of roof lights ( number assigned to an individual to operate a taxi in the Municipality HRM) in the taxi industry as previously mentioned do not have a medical plan or retirement plan to fall back on in the case of an injury or sickness therefore, some time ago they were allowed to lease the light or rent their light and vehicle to another person who held a taxi drivers license to help them to obtain some financial support until they were able to return to work. However, because of a clause or lack of, other owners took advantages and began leasing their roof lights for financial gain which was not the intent in the first place.

Because of the present situation the drivers who now lease feel their rights under the Charter are being exploited and that they are victims of discrimination. This may or may not be the case because each driver knew that they were on a waiting list when they obtained their Taxi license and when their name reached the top they would be offered a roof light. Keep in mind the drivers who leased were partially responsible for the increase in leasing prices now established because of the bidding that went on. Greed overcame the real purpose for leasing/renting a roof light. Now the ones leasing want to continue to drive and make this a career but do not want to pay the price anymore, to stay in the Taxi Industry.

Most drivers in HRM, realize the situation and appreciate the problem, however, I do not feel that the Taxi owners , who provided the opportunity to these drivers should be punished to the degree that they have to give up their roof lights. They should be allowed to carry on with their agreements or have an adequate time period to put their vehicle under their light and be allowed to rent the unit to another driver. The owners who do not wish to do this then the roof light should be offered to the next person on the list. Eventually, leasing will cease to exist, through attrition.

GOVERNMENT AND THE TAXI INDUSTRY:
Comments have been made that the Taxi Industry has no place in Municipal affairs other than to make regulations for the industry. Well councillors this is not the case. The Government of Nova Scotia and the Municipalities do have a responsibility to protect the viability of an industry and that is why the Provincial Government handed that responsibility onto the Municipal Government by incorporating it into the Motor Vehicle Act under section 305 paragraph 2, where it states " It authorizes the municipalities to limit the number of persons licensed to transport for hire, passengers or goods".

The Government of Nova Scotia has just recently placed the Taxi Industry and small retail businesses under their umbrella and introduced a Code of Practice to be followed by all those concerned relating to Occupational Health and Safety issues.

Apparently, other government agencies are not of the same opinion as some of our city officials because limitations and regulation have been applied to other industries, such as, Agriculture, Bus/Courier Industry, Fishing Industry, Physician an the list goes on.

The Municipal Government has also placed restrictions on :
1.) Adult entertainment.
2.) Homes and Apartment complexes (Zoning -bylaws)
3.) Location of Industries

CONCLUSION:
Municipal Government is important in the Taxi Industry and is required to protect the viability and livelihood of the Taxi owners and drivers through the use of limitations and regulations. Deregulation should never be considered an option.

In closing, Myself and many other owners and drivers in HRM are asking each and every councillor to carefully consider all the comments in this report because we believe it is your responsibility to make sure that each and every owner and driver in the Taxi industry can make a viable living for themselves and their families.



Feb. 26, 2008

Executive at Large, Lester A. Dauries Presentation

Just the Facts

The issues with the taxi industry can not be fixed or addressed in a five minute speech.

Halifax Council started regulating the taxis In 1911, when the first motor car taxi was introduced within the existing Hackney cab bylaws (horse drawn carriages) .

All other major cities in the world have, Regulations governing taxis.

Mostly all of them have:
Zones
Limitations
Transferability
Separate Governing Authorities

The cities who have removed any of these have reinstated them or are in the process of doing so. (http://www.schallerconsult.com/taxi/entrycontrol.htm)

HRM only has two of these, Zones and Limitations.

HRM has 3 times more taxis per person than most other major cities in Canada.

Previous councils have had the wisdom to keep taxis regulated and created zones to insure service and limitations to insure quality.

This council does not want to deal with taxi industry issues, and should not have too.

Previous taxi advisory committees were formed and failed, because they did not democratically include the drivers.

Hotels, Restaurants, Airports, and Tourism are not stake holders in the taxi industry, they are separate industries.

Knowledgeable taxi drivers were not consulted on the staff report or today's motion issues.

The issues with the taxi industry can not be fixed with By-Law T-137 & T-138.

HRM needs a Sophisticated, Democratic, Taxi Regulation Authority.

Vote NO to this motion on By-Law T-137 & T-138 and start a Taxi Regulation Authority and to keep it democratic, half the staff should be experienced taxi drivers.

Please read the 2006 Schaller Consulting report (web address above)



Feb. 16, 2008

Newspaper Advertisement





Jan. 30, 2008

GENERAL MEETING

A general meeting of the HTDA will be held on Feb. 10, 2008 at the Spryfield Community Center 25 Drysdale Road starting at 7:00pm.

There are a number of issues facing us in the near future. A staff recommendation to city council to remove limitation and issue roof lights to every person holding a valid taxi operators license

The current zone system to be all one zone.

The issuance of roof lights to anyone, no limitation.

What is this city thinking of??? The drivers are not being considered in this at all. They are simply trying to fix a mess which they created. This would fix the leasing issue and insure that no one makes a living.

So get out and support your association and have a voice.
Lets do All it takes to survive. Write your comments down and bring them.

If you're a member SHOW UP

If your not a member SIGN UP

Drivers from all Zones WELCOME

Halifax Taxi Drivers Association


HFX 559


Nov 1, 2007

Monday October 29, 2007. 9am, 5151 Terminal Road, Halifax.

The Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour, Occupational Health and Safety Division hosted a meeting on the above date with some stake holders in the Taxi industry.

Attending from the Provincial dept. were Mr. Vince Garnier Provincial Manager; Stewart Sampson Provincial Manager; Ben McBeth Policy Officer and Jim Leblanc Field Services Admin. Attending from the H.R.M. Taxi industry were Daryll Downey President Halifax Taxi Drivers Association; Earl Brown, Executive of the County Taxi Drivers Association as well Drivers rep. on the Halifax Airport Authority Committee; Brian Allan Halifax Taxi Drivers Association; Garry Jollymore, Secretary H.T.D.A. This group was joined by Councilor Steve Adams Chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee.

The early part of this meeting was characterized by the effort to clear up the confusion. The Taxi Reps. And Councilor Adams were adamant that there was no communication from the Province suggesting that they had come into the field of violence against Taxi drivers. For their part the Department could not understand why their normal means of communicating had not alerted the industry of the coming requirements. On inspection of their news paper publication ad material, which has been periodically displayed since Aug. of this year, it was pointed out that there was no specific mention of taxis in the title or text and so it is understandable that the industry would pass over this info un-noticing.

With regards to the Requirement to comply with a risk assessment by October 1, 2007 the department explained that the risk assessment was only a matter of filling out a form (which was not available online and only available in print at their office) or we could have followed the guidelines in a draft document "A Guide to the Violence in the Workplace Regulations for the Taxi Industry" which was only available in draft form through computer links which were only discovered in the first week of Oct. after the Oct.1st deadline.

Next, in response to the question, who do we submit this Risk Assessment to? we find that it is not intended to be submitted to any one but is for the drivers own use. In other words there is no one collecting these risk assessments but remember, this is an obligation and when we asked about the penalty for non compliance we learned that the there is provision for fines of up to $250,000.00 but that no fine higher than $130,000.00 has ever been levied and that was done because there was loss of life involved. We were told that logically fines for non compliance, which in this case are a matter of paper work, would be a lot lower. Councilor Adams was asked to look into the possibility of making a completed risk assessment a condition of relicensing. Once again the issue of the Oct.1st deadline was shown to be unworkable and the Dept. officials conceded in this way, they wouldn't change the deadline but will not enforce it.

Next we learned that drivers are obliged to create a violence prevention plan based on the risk assessment. The way to understand this is that if the risk assessment shows areas of risk in our work then the prevention plan must show the measure you would take to reduce or eliminate those risks. So if at times your customers are intoxicated people and the risk assessment considers that some intoxicated people are a threat then you are asked to provide a solution to the potential threat, which might be to install a shield in your car.

Now if you do not have the skills or desire to create your own violence prevention plan then you may (are obliged to) adopt the department of Labours' guidelines in the document "Violence in the Workplace Regulations for the Taxi Industry". What this means is that if nothing changes in the draft and you use the guide lines in it to comply with the new regulations, it states that if you drive between the hours of 10pm and 6am you will be obliged to install either a camera or a shield.

The subject of exemptions for Airport and prearranged drivers was brought up. It was pointed out that their minimal risk would show up on the risk assessment however the problem of how to get around the fact that minimal risk still can apply to hours after 10pm was deferred to a later meeting. The Dept. of Labour advised that they would not consider any type of financial help to the taxi drivers for this safety equipment.

The good news is that the Occupational Health and Safety Division is creating a letter to be sent out to taxi drivers throughout Nova Scotia that clarifies the matters laid out in this article so far. They will also attend the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee meeting at the next occasion to take input and objections. However, signifagant questions remain to be answered. Such as what do leased roof light owners and drivers do about compliance? What do the people who rent cars to taxi drivers do? Are the office owners implicated in this chain of responsibility of driver safety? Is H.R.M. responsible for some aspect of driver safety? Here is what the Dept. has said about these questions so far, "Every one concerned is advised to be doing every thing they can to insure the safety of taxi drivers."

In closing it should be noted that the provincial government people we have dealt with in this matter have shown a willingness to listen and take input now and in the future from the industry representatives. They admit to not knowing about this business but have repeatedly said that there concern is for the safety of the Taxi drivers in Nova Scotia.

G. Jollymore Secretary

Halifax Taxi Drivers Association


Oct 21, 2007

This letter concerns the Draft document from your department titled Taxi Driver Safety Regulations

October 14, 2007

To: Vince Garnier

Cc.: Ben McBeth

From: Halifax Taxi Drivers Association

This letter concerns the draft document from your department entitled "Taxi Driver Safety Regulations" dated October, 2007.

The H.T.D.A.was surprised by the sudden appearance of this document and its implications. We do not know if you realize that this document was not distributed or announced to any of the stake holders. Instead, it was discovered, fortuitously, on your web site.

We are concerned that there is a rush to implementation. Media sources on October 12, 2007 have quoted your department as indicating that at least one part of the new requirements, to do with evaluation, is to be complied with before the end of October, 2007. Could this be true?

The media, the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee, the Taxi Drivers and other stake holders are all confused about the document's demands. Therefore, the executive of the H.T.D.A. has agreed to ask your department for more time to digest this draft and to allow for our input.

We hope you will find this request reasonable.

Sincerely

G. Jollymore
Secretary H.T.D.A.

The Reply

Hi Garry,

Thanks for your letter. From what I understand, the newspaper article in the Halifax Daily News, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007 (page 8) did not accurately reflect some comments made by our communications representative. I will try to clarify.

The Code of Practice that is being developed is in its early stage. It is a draft document only. Therefore, the information included in the document is not currently binding on the industry. The intent is to circulate it to the stakeholders for review and comment. By all means, the final version may indeed differ from the draft. That will depend much on the feedback from the industry and other related stakeholders.

In terms of the Violence Regulations, the violence assessment is required to be completed by October 1, 2007. Depending on the assessment findings, a violence plan may be required to be prepared by April 1, 2008. The key person with this responsible in the taxi industry is the license holder.

The regulations have been in place for 6 months, which was ample time for the assessment to be completed. Our Division has been holding free public sessions across the province during that six-month period offering clarification on how to conduct the assessment. We are now in the next education phase, which is circulating the province conducting information sessions on how to prepare a violence plan. These sessions are free and I would encourage stakeholders to attend.

Regarding your request for an extension to review and digest the draft Code of Practice, I will defer the request to Stewart Sampson, Provincial Manager of Professional Services, OHS Division for his response.

If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to call me at 424-8478. Thanks,

Vince Vince P. Garnier
Provincial Manager
Inspection and Compliance Services - OHS Division
Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour
Box 697, Halifax, NS, Canada B3J 2T8


Also A Letter to Councilor Adams,

Councilor Adams,

As you know this past week Brian Allan has made an effort to bring the department of Labours' Occcupational Health and Safety people together with some of the stake holders in this industry.

The reason for this meeting is that the Prov. people are claiming, in their progress toward imposing taxi safety standards, that they have done their job of informing the industry stake holders of their intentions and of our compliance responsibilities. For example by Oct. 1 2007 taxi drivers were supposed to have complied with a risk assessment requirement that not a single stake holder has heard of let alone knows how to comply with ( re. my conversation with Kevin Hindle Oct. 18 2007 )

The leadership of the H.T.D.A. feels that your presence at this proposed meeting would be essential to carry the argument that this has been a blind sideing event to the industry and its protocalls. Also the argument is that the Prov. people should start over with complince deadlines, your input would be valued there as well.

As Brian has been co-ordinating this effort, it would be much appreciated if you would contact him regarding this meeting 478-0626

Thanking you in advance.

G.Jollymore
Secretary H.T.D.A.



Aug 4, 2007


PROGRESS REPORT
HALIFAX TAXI DRIVERS ASSOCIATION

July 30, 2007

More and more frequently members and executives of the Halifax Taxi Drivers Association are approached with the question "what is the association doing?" What is worse is that some critics have gone so far as accusing the association doing nothing. This article attempts to shed light on the progress of the organization but before going on there are three things that taxi drivers have to understand.

The first thing to remember is that all the executives and committee members are volunteers they do not get paid for their efforts. Furthermore each of the volunteers must do exactly what every other taxi driver does, that is, spend a grueling day earning a living and then after all that do what they can for the association. In countless cases drivers have been asked to do some work for their association and the response has been "I don't have time." Where then do you suppose the executives and volunteers get time to do what is necessary the answer is they make time because they have realized the importance of this project.  

The second thing to consider is that change doesn't happen quickly in fact it happens at a snails pace. Just because taxi drivers want something doesn't mean a visit to Council with a demand gets the wish granted. The fact is, in most cases, there are major forces aligned against the industry and its efforts to make beneficial changes. Hard work is the ingredient that makes changes possible there is no magic and no substitute, it is work ethic that creates change.  So we all have to be patient and learn to co-operate just like any other group that is trying to make there work environment better.

The third thing to remember is that there is a formula for success that applies to this effort to organize, it works like this. In this kind of project you do what ever you can for the organization and only then can it do something for you. This is a variation of the famous statement made in 1961 by John F. Kennedy. "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask instead what you can do for your country". These are different scales for certain, J.F.K. spoke to his country and we are concerned about the H.R.M. taxi business but the same philosophy applies; do for the larger good and you will prosper as well.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Very few people look at the fact that there are over 300 members in the association as an accomplishment but it is by virtue of the effort it has taken to realize this level of support. To get the members it took hundreds of volunteer hours, news letter focus and a lot of dollars were spent toward the essential job of building up the numbers. This effort was made necessary because most taxi drivers did not come willingly to join their own association.  The job of membership building is not yet complete.

The second accomplishment is that we have a volunteer force other than the executive group. Building this small committed team is an accomplishment that makes progress on projects possible without them there would be no association and as the volunteer group grows so will our ability to take on other projects.

That we have built a stable base of operation is also an accomplishment. We have a phone and a secretarial service and a board room facility for meetings. This is made possible through your membership fees. A listed Phone number and answering service are essential for creating a professional appearance for the organization.
Even though we are an infant organization we were able to chalk up a major accomplishment when council decided to get involved with cab driver safety. Council asked the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee to make a recommendation on how to solve the problem of violence against cab drivers. The council and its advisory committee were prepared to take the easiest way to remove them selves from responsibility in this issue. They were preparing to mandate shields and cameras into our cars.

The first response from this organization was to meet with the department of Labor Worker Safety Division. In that meeting, with one of their top officials, it was pointed out that not all cab drivers do the same work and it followed that all were not at equal risk and therefore all did not need shields and cameras. It was from that meeting that the idea of a risk analysis for taxi drivers was born.

What followed was the creation by the HTDA of the combined survey on safety and risk analysis that HRM drivers were asked to fill out. This resulted in a report presented to the Taxi and Limousine advisory Committee in June of 2006. A tremendous amount of work went into the survey which resulted in just enough returns to make the survey statistically sound. Here is a fact the industry should know about, that 90% of the taxi drivers in HRM had the opportunity to fill out the survey and make themselves heard but only 22% would make the effort. That means that 78% of the drivers had a chance to participate but instead ignored the survey. Since then the association has been taunted with the words you don't do any thing. Wouldn't it be far more accurate to point to a work force that is asleep at the wheel and even given the chance would not respond to the opportunity to do something for them selves or support those that would?

By partnering with the other taxi organizations in metro we were able to sway the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee away from the idea of mandating shields into the taxis of HRM, the survey and report presented to the committee accomplished that. If Council follows the advisory committee's recommendation the following math will be accurate. The approximate average price of an installed safety shield is $550.00 there are just over 1000 taxis in HRM so that means that this organization has saved the industry $550,000.00. That is over half a million dollars we have saved HRM taxi drivers. It is not over yet. Some one has to take this battle to Council when they debate and vote on this issue of mandating shields and cameras. We must argue to keep what we have gained that is no mandating of shields and in addition we must try to defeat again the idea of mandating cameras. Is there a substitute for an organization to do work like this?

One of the major accomplishments of this organization has been the periodic issue of news letters. This industry exists almost totally in the dark unaware of what goes on with the politics and changing circumstances in the taxi business. The news letter would be unnecessary if every one was on line and could monitor the hfxtaxi.com website but the unfortunate thing is that the majority of taxi drivers are not on line so the news letter is necessary. A more regular news letter will be possible when there are enough people involved helping to make regular production possible.

Hand in hand with the news letter is this organizations presence at meetings that concern the taxi industry. For example, some members of the executive attend every Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee meeting. Why is this important? There are people on the committee that know nothing about the taxi business, they can be informed and when they see drivers in the audience it shows them that we are concerned. Furthermore being at the meeting where taxi policy originates allows us to raise an alarm to the industry through internet and news letter when necessary.

Another accomplishment is the creation of the communications tool called "The Phone Tree" or "Phone Pyramid." The idea here is that one person phones three people with a message concerning the industry such as the date, time and place of a meeting. The three individuals who have been contacted have a prearranged list of three calls each which they make to people who also each have three calls to make to people who have three calls to make and so on. Work has not been completed on this project but even in the beginning stage it has proved to be a powerful communications tool.


Since this organization started there have been 2 expeditions to the Mayors office to speak about concerns of the taxi industry. The first occasion was in March 2006 under the leadership of then President Don Shannon. That effort resulted in the mayor turning the meeting over to his senior staff of the Licensing Division which resulted in no progress. The second visit in June of 2007 is of interest because the mayor revealed some of his attitude toward the taxi industry. Mayor Kelly told President Downey that he feels that there should be no caps on the number of taxis in H.R.M. that in fact there should be the greatest number possible. At that meeting Taxi Representative to the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee Dennis St Laurent made an appeal to the mayor for accountability in the bureaucracy around the taxi industry and he asked for consideration of a new kind of administrator to replace the Licensing division. The Mayors response was to advise our spokes people to go through the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee to address their concerns.

The association has begun to organize research into transferability where it already exists. This effort is in hope of finding an example of where the taxi drivers own their licenses and can sell them while retaining the owner operator system. A critical matter if council is to be convinced of transferability. No such example has yet been found and if none can be found it will fall to the industry here to invent a system, a way for transferability to work that council will accept. The HTDA awaits the staff report on transferability initiated by council to find out what exactly the objections are to transferability. The quest goes on from there.

Most recently we have embarked on an effort with a benefits company to bring a series of optional benefits (such as death, injury or sickness etc.) to HTDA members. Contrary to what many think this is not an organization solely for the sake of getting transferability, this benefits package effort is yet another example of what an organized work force can accomplish.

At this time this organization is partnered with the Airport drivers association in an effort to bring some common sense into the pricing situation between Limousines and Taxis. Limos are showing up in down town Halifax just as they are at the Airport offering their service for the same price as taxis a situation without parallel anywhere. This joint effort is actually aimed at pushing back the Limousine industry in its intrusion into the taxi business they have to be stopped or they will continue to chisel away at the incomes of taxi drivers.

In preparation for the June 28 2006 HTDA general meeting a human resources audit chart was prepared. Every effort was catalogued along a time line and the hours were recorded for each job. This chart was displayed at the meeting and showed that the volunteer and executive effort totaled 429 man hours. These hours had been spent on the organizations demands up until that time and since that calculation the figure will now approach 1000 man hours. What that shows is that this organizational effort is no joking matter these are actual time commitments, of real people working for the benefit of the taxi industry. This is serious work with even more serious consequences if it is not continued, just ask yourself the question who is going to look out for the interests of the industry if this industry has no watch dog?

Future projects include the quest for transferability, the effort to stop discount advertising of Taxi fares and the battle to have the city staff and council include the industry in such things as reform of the taxi ordinance. However, before the bureaucrats have respect for the drivers' organization the drivers themselves have to support and show respect for it.

G. Jollymore, Secretary,
Halifax Taxi Drivers Association


April 22, 2007

DISCOUNTED TAXI FARES WILL HURT BUSINESS

There is one item that should be expanded on from the many issues that Denny St Laurent brought to the table at the April 12/07 meeting of the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee. That topic is the emergence of advertised discount taxi fares.

Leading up to this meeting it was brought to the attention of the H.T.D.A. executive that discount taxi fare advertising has reappeared in hotels, yellow pages and various bulletin boards. A quick check of the taxi ordinance T-108 article 56 showed that as always was the case advertising of discount taxi fares is a by-law violation.

Here is what the by-law article 56 states:

"A Every taxi driver or owner who receives or demands a fare greater or LESS THAN that registered upon the meter, or not according to the fare set out in Schedule 1 of Administrative Order 39 shall be guilty of an offence under this By-law."

How much more specific can the authors of the By-law be? Clearly the intention of article 56 is that with regard to fares, taxi drivers would work on a level playing field, while the public would have some recourse if wrongly charged. This is an example of a regulation that promotes stability in the taxi business. It was designed to eliminate the cut throat situation that would exist without regulation.

It will help at this point if you have a proper understanding of what is meant by the term Administrative Order 39 and Schedule 1. About 2 years ago, just before this organization got started, there was a change made to the way applications were handled for taxi fare increases and all matters of taxi pricing. Before that change meter rates were increased by a motion in council which would go through 3 readings, perhaps a staff report and a public debate as well. This was a cumbersome procedure and it could take months to get what might be a much needed meter raise. As a result it was decided, by a motion in council, to handle future taxi pricing issues through another option called an "Administrative Order". With Administrative Orders there is no public hearing and the issue is dealt with usually immediately with a vote in council. In this way, if the industry made the request for a meter increase it could be brought to council and dealt with right away. The resulting Administrative Order is number 39 and the actual rates and rules governing rates is Schedule 1 of Administrative Order 39
(that entire schedule is available through the www.hfxtaxi.com web site on the Regulations Page).

Now since article 56 refers to schedule 1 we were obliged to look there for evidence of a loophole or an exception that would allow a contradiction to the By-law and therefore allow advertising of discounted taxi fares.

As it turned out schedule 1 had no reference to advertising discount taxi fares. As mentioned above Schedule 1 is available through the www.hfxtaxi.com web site as well as article 56 of T-108, You are invited to read schedule 1, pay close attention to the first page and see if you can find any reference to advertising discounted taxi fares. We did not.

This seemed straight forward, Denny St Laurent was asked to point out that some people were in violation of the ordinance, he showed evidence of this then asked that the violators be forced to cease this practice. That request was denied, what happened instead made Mr. St Laurent speechless and left the attending taxi drivers dumfounded.

Kevin Hindle of the H.R.M. Taxi Licensing Division spoke on this matter. He pointed to page 1 of Schedule 1 to the heading SPECIAL RATES, which reads;
"By contract when such rates are provided for by contract to which the taxi owner is a party."

Mr. Hindle said that according to the above item called special rates and because of the interpretation of article 62 in the taxi By-Law the discounted fares in hotels and the yellow pages are a contract and therefore are allowable.

Once again we are forced to refer back to the By-law to see what has changed. Here is what article 62 to says, Every taxi driver who transports any passenger or article for hire shall ensure that the taxi meter operates during the entire period of such transportation unless the driver has made an agreement with the passenger for transportation at the hourly rate provided for in Schedule 1 of Administrative Order 39, the driver charges the fares pursuant to Schedules 2 and 3 of Administrative Order 39 or unless there is a contract in force pursuant to the schedule for the transportation of the passenger.

As you can see article 62 has no mention of advertising of discounted taxi rates. The only discounted rates referred to are those that a taxi driver and a customer agree to. As well schedules 2 and 3 say nothing about advertising discounted rates, these schedules refer to taxi flat rates from the Port of Halifax and the Halifax Airport.

At that point in the meeting one disgusted taxi driver walked out of the room. In conversation with drivers after the meeting this issue and Kevin Hindles stand on it were discussed. There were 2 points of consensus the first was this logical argument that follows. That is that contracts are agreements and fall into 2 categories. There is the verbal agreement and the signed contract. The aim of the discounting cab drivers is to display the discounted fares in such a way as to get attention and garner business from the lower fares, this is known as advertising. Advertising is recognizable it is all around us and contracts are as well, they are as dissimilar as apples and oranges. The question is how does city staff, Licensing Division and probably Legal department come to a conclusion that agreements and advertising could be the same thing?

The other point of consensus was that something has to be done about this. One suggestion was the immediate launch of a special fund raising effort to create a legal fund. That conversation reemphasized the idea that we need our own legal assistance to straighten out such matters as these and to be able to challenge city staff or others issues when the need arises.

This idea of a special legal fund is a fantastic one and will possibly take hold depending on the commitment of volunteer effort. Any of you who are interested in helping to create this fund call the H.T.D.A. office and leave the message that you want to help with this project. One avenue for starting a legal fund which is very doable is a large social event a band, a dance, a bar etc. We can do such things as this if you simply come forward and say "I'll help" two magic words that can make any thing happen.

The interesting thing about this issue of advertised discounted taxi fares is that it probably will not require legal help to resolve it. What will work as well as legal involvement and is much cheaper is a petition to council. The petition might say for instance that councils' original intent, evident in article 56 of By-Law T- 108, was to deny discounting of normal taxi fares. However, taxi fares are now being advertised openly at discounted prices with the approval of city staff. It is the wish of those signed here that this situation be returned to the status where in the advertising of discounted taxi fares is an infraction of the By-Law.

This is a simple solution and the news letter can be used to further it but once again we need some manpower to make it happen, we need a team to circulate the petition and coordinate the effort. Call the H.T.D.A. office and leave the message that you would like to help on this project.

G. Jollymore
Secretary H.T.D.A.


April 16, 2007

This letter was presented at this months TLAC meeting.

To    Halifax City Council                                                                                                     12APR2007

        C/o

        Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee

 

From Darrell Downey

         President

         Halifax Taxi Drivers Association

         subject: Transferability

 

On behalf of the membership, I would like to express our support for transferability. For far too long now, our members have expressed great concerns over the lack of equity in the distribution of public assets (e.g. owner licenses).

Permitting the transfer of owner licenses within a reformed "owner-operator" based industry, would provide a more equitable environment if, implemented within specific structural parameters.

I therefore urge Council to do due diligence and consider transferability within the context of a thorough reform of the taxi industry.

 

Darrell Downey

President,

Halifax Taxi Drivers Association



March 7, 2007

Time change Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee

Once again they make it hard as spossible for cab drivers to attend the meetings of thr Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee. The time and place were agreed on two months ago but yesterday changed. The time for tomorrows meeting is 10 PM Thur. March 8 at the Capt. Spry Centre.

There is an annoying problem of this shifting meeting time that our representative Harry Boggs has detirmined to deal with.

This promises to be a very interesting meeting with all the media attention this business has been getting lately likely to be discussed. As well there seems to be a showdown evolving between H.R.M. legal staff, the Taxi industry and the Taxi and Limousine Advisory committee. This centers around the change made to the procedure that is followed upon a drivers death and what happens to his taxi license.

Recomended that you attend this one.

G. Jollymore
Secretary H.T.D.A.


Feb. 6, 2007

News Letter

Click Here for an Association News Letter. in MS Word format.

Garry Jollymore. 714


Dec. 21, 2006

News Letter

Click Here for an Association News Letter. in MS Word format.

Garry Jollymore. 714


November 16, 2006

Carleton University's Survey

Kevin Walby from Carleton University's sociology department in Ottawa, Together with Dr Aaron Doyle, are undertaking a research project on risk and taxi driving. We interview taxi drivers about their experiences of physical victimization, health risks, and so on.

This is important research because the public generally does not understand or care about the risks involved in taxi driving, and they should be aware.

They hope to have a balanced sample of male and female drivers.

It is no trouble locating male taxi drivers for interviews. But there are only a few female drivers in Ottawa, so they are needing to contact female drivers in other cities.

They can conduct interviews over the phone if this is more convenient for the driver.

If any of you are interested in being interviewed it would be Jane Rozee of TIANS can arrange this.

Contact Jane Rozee
Program Coordinator
Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council
1099 Marginal Road, Suite 201 Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
Direct Line: 902-496-7476 Fax: 902-422-0184

Click Here for a Carleton University's Survey Poster in MS Word format.

Garry Jollymore. 714


Sept 9, 2006

News Letter

Click Here for an Association News Letter. in MS Word format.

Garry Jollymore. 714


June 21, 2006

Further Note to General Meeting on June 27th

The meeting room has been changed from conference room # 3 to the Multi Purpose Room at the Captain William Spry Centre. This room is at the top of the stairs when you come in the main entrance. This is a larger room and seats 130 to 150 people. We are anticipating a large turnout as a result of the issues facing the industry. As an added bonus there will be a guest speaker. So come on fellow drivers talk it up and plan to attend. Your input is vital.

Between now and then try and come up with solutions to;
1: The opening of the zones.
2: The issuing of roof lights to anyone who holds a valid taxi license.

We know there are no perfect solutions but solutions are necessary. Lacking a solution we may well have to accept what the city might be proposing.

HFX 773


June 16, 2006

GENERAL MEETING

A general meeting of the HTDA will be held on June 27, 2006 at the Captain William Spry Center conference room #3 starting at 6:30pm.

There are a number of issues facing us in the near future. A staff recommendation to city council to remove limitation and issue roof lights to every person holding a valid taxi operators license

TIANS certification being made mandatory for all drivers including limousine drivers.

The current zone system to be gone within 18 months and HRM to be all one zone.

The issuance of roof lights to all licensed drivers would amount to something close to 400 additional cars on the road (in all HRM) and there is no plan in place to stop the issuing of new licenses.

What is this city thinking of??? The drivers are not being considered in this at all. They are simply trying to fix a mess which they created. This would fix the leasing issue and insure that no one makes a living.

So get out and support your association and have a voice that must be listened to if we are to survive. All it takes is numbers.

If you're a member SHOW UP

If your not a member SIGN UP



UNITED WE CAN STOP THIS


HFX 773


June 7, 2006

TRANSFERABILITY

A notice of motion at the last Taxi and Limousine Committee was put forward by Bob Richards to discuss "TRANSFERABILITY" Unless deferred this will be discussed at the June 8th meeting of the Committee. In my opinion this motion should be deferred until input can be gained from the drivers. This is not something that can be put together in a few days or weeks. In my opinion it would take at least a year of work (meetings:Discussions etc) between drivers to come up with a plan to implement such a thing. This industry is in such a mess that there are no quick fixes for anything, least of all transferability.

The Taxi Drivers Association is holding a general meeting on June 27th. If you want your options heard at Committee level and City Council level then join the association and be a part of the decision making process. Your opinion matters!

HFX 773


June. 1, 2006

HTDA GENERAL MEETING

A general meeting of the HTDA will be held on June 27,2006 at the Captain Spry Centre in Spryfield.
The time will be from 6:30pm until 9:15pm in conference room 3

Dave 773



MAY 15, 2006

Survey

Click Here for Taxi Drivers Survey Results

Garry J. 714


MAY 12, 2006

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

To the members of the HTDA. At our next meeting (date to be confirmed first) you are going to be shown what work we have been doing and the number of man hours involved. What may appear to be simple easy stuff takes many hours of work to make it look simple. So consider getting involved if you want this association to succeed.

We are drivers like the rest of you but in all honesty the hours are wearing us down. Lost income lots of gas expense ect. So if you want this organization to succeed prepare to give of your time or your money.

FITZ 773


April. 13, 2006

Where we were before election day was disarray; where we are now is an intersection! Roughly 150 of us now have the opportunity to have our voice heard, and our thoughts and ideas considered. With things such as meetings with politicians, surveys, as well as networking with other drivers, we can now as never before hope for positive changes!
Ideas like smaller vehicles can only be put forward if taxi drivers weigh in with their opinions. The same applies to better enforcement, safety surveys, and anything else that affects us. Healthy debate on this web site is encouraged, but griping is counter productive at best. The more drivers who weigh in on topics, the more evident it will be to get consensus on those topics. Ask your fellow drivers what they think about what they read here, and ask if they are members of the association. The more members we have, the more likely we are to succeed in getting things accomplished. We promise to ask you what you want us to do but ideally, we'd like to ask ALL of you. 150 is a modest number, but it leaves about 700 (approximately) who could want something completely different. This ratio could be the determining factor on any initiative, so join up, and plan to be at our next meeting. "It's better to light a match, than to curse the darkness."

Don 106


April. 7, 2006

THANKS TO ALL

Who filled out the Safety Survey sheets. I know we haven't gotten around to everyone with these but moving targets are hard to pin down. So if anyone wants to fill one out, anytime you see roof light 773 sitting around just ask me,and I will give you one.

The association will be holding a general meeting the last week in May. As of today's date there is nothing urgent to discuss. But it is important to let members new and old know what we have been up to.Place and time to be announced.

Membership is growing and i'd like to express my thanks to all the volunteers who are helping out with this. For those of you who have not yet signed up, I know the reason can't be the price. So if you have concerns about this organization contact us and let us know what your concerns are for not joining and perhaps we can ease your mind. Keep in mind this organization is nor run by just the executive. We operate on majority wishes of the members. We get these wants and needs from surveys and when necessary at a general meeting.

As an executive we will be trying all diplomatic approaches to getting things accomplished. This means dialogue with the Taxi Office, Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee, Mayor Kelly, City Council, brokers and anyone else that has input into this industry. It is our belief that if we act professionally we will eventually be treated as such. This is our industry and we need to do whatever it takes to ensure, that we are able to continue making a living in a safe and profitable atmosphere.

Dave 773


March. 29, 2006

DRIVER SURVEY

In the days to come members of the H.T.D.A. will be passing out a driver survey in regards to the driver safety issue (cameras,shields etc) This issue is before the Taxi and Limousine advisory committee. As an association we feel it is critical to have the collective drivers input on this issue. The completed surveys can be handed in to the following association members . Roof light #'s 106...169... 291.... 302....470...714...773

Dave 773


March. 27, 2006

Meeting With Mayor Kelly

The executive of the H.T.D.A. met with mayor Peter Kelly on March 22/06. Also present was Kevin Hindle operations officer with the Taxi Office and Andrea MacDonald.

Mayor Kelly being a busy man was not able to give us a lot of his time, but we were able to let him know who we were. He was given a copy of our mandate and operation plan. The remainder of our time was taken up with a lot of questions for Mr Hindle and Ms MacDonald. It seems that a lot of our problems are the result of Council, Staff decisions and by-laws. To give Mr Hindle his due he does have to work within the laws that are on the books. Even when he is aware of flaws, he is forced to work within the by laws and is unable to do anything except what the by-laws allow. When questioned about enforcement issues, we received the usual answers. No budget allowances for these things.

Both parties were made aware of the frustration level we as drivers feel. The answers to most questions as with all city employees, is that it is either someone else's responsibility or there is no money in the budget. Was anything resolved? The answer is NO. Having said that we feel it is possible to have a working relationship with Mr Hindles office.

Dave 773


March. 21, 2006

H.T.D.A. UPDATE

The executive of the H.T.D.A. will be meeting with Mayor Peter Kelly on Wednesday afternoon. This is intended as a meeting to let the Mayor know who we are and to present him with a number of issues facing the taxi industry. As we have no faith in the new Taxi and Limousine committee to do anything that will be beneficial for us, we will be making him aware of the issues facing us. We feel this is a proper step to take. I will be posting the results of that meeting later in the week.

Dave 773


March. 15, 2006

THANKS

I'd like to express my thanks to Mr.Daurie for generously giving the HTDA their own place on his web site. In future all letters having to do with the Halifax Taxi Drivers Association (meeting agendas,,taxi and Limousines meeting observations etc) will appear on this site. When I feel the need to just let off steam which seems to happen regularly I will do that on the Taxi Talk page.

The membership cards have finally arrived so we will be getting those out to members in the near future. We have started a fund raising/membership/benefits committee. Volunteers are out there with membership kits. Included in these kits is the structure of the organization and the way in which it will operate. So please at least take the time to read this when presented with the opportunity. It will be posted on here as well within the next few days.

This is a great place to post any ideas the drivers have for fund raising ideas,benefits that we may be able to get etc. I know there are a lot of people out there who know people connected to businesses and organizations where if requested, we would be able to get group discounts on goods and services that we use every day. This puts money back into our pockets. We are already working on two such deals. Keep in mind we need HELP. This is time consuming work and we are all drivers first and foremost and most of us have little or no experience in doing such things. So many times we are taking unnecessary steps to accomplish something just because we don't know the right direction in which to go.

Keep in mind that the executive members of the association can be contacted by calling our office at 405 3989. There is someone there during office hours to take messages and pass them on to us

Dave 773



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