Taxi drivers are taking to the streets across Quebec today to protest a proposed bill in the National Assembly that would, among other measures, eliminate the need for taxi permits. Drivers say this would give an unfair advantage to ride-share services like Uber.
Since talks with government representatives fell apart earlier this week, drivers have apparently escalated protest tactics. Today, hundreds of drivers organized to block traffic in Montreal.
Videos posted to social media show drivers deliberately stopping in front of STM buses and abandoning their vehicles in the street.
TLDR: Protesting taxi drivers are clogging downtown Montreal streets today.
According to the Montreal Police, blvd. René-Lévesque is closed between St-Urbain and ave. Union because of the ongoing protest. The closure of the main downtown thoroughfare has led to congestion across the city core.
This video of a protest on René-Lévesque was submitted to MTLBlog by Instagram user @khalilferchiou.
At least one photo widely circulated by media shows taxi drivers burning protest materials and displaying an effigy hanging from a noose.
Protestors have also apparently gathered in front of Montreal city hall.
Radio-Canada journalist Chloe Sondervorst captured this footage of taxi drivers rolling slowly across the Jacques Cartier bridge this morning.
Heure de pointe sonore sur le pont Jacques-Cartier: voici la tête du convoi de chauffeurs de taxis en grève en provenance de la Rive-Sud, suivie de nombreux véhicules qui klaxonnent en solidarité #polqc #taxi #mtl pic.twitter.com/BlzSvWS0KK— Chloe Sondervorst (@sondervorst) April 5, 2019
It is unclear whether taxi protests will persist into the late afternoon and clog evening commuting traffic.