After taking a week-long break, Montreal's taxi companies are back on strike this Friday. In this latest round of protests, taxis are planning to meet up and will take to the streets during early morning rush hour.
Drivers from across the province will mobilize and drive to the Transport Minister's office on René-Lévesque. They plan to "plant ourselves there and do what demonstrators usually do", according to a report from CJAD Montreal.
This new taxi protest will coincide with the student environmental protests by Pour le futur MTL and also closures along the Turcot Interchange.
The estimated gridlock is set to be massive and will definitely delay traffic this Friday morning.
TL;DR This Friday, Downtown Montreal will completely shut down due to taxi and student protests that are planned during early morning rush hour and into the afternoon. Commuters should expect massive delays throughout the morning as taxi drivers from all over the province are planning their protest route through Downtown Montreal and surrounding highways.
This past Monday, taxi unions met with the Transport Minister to demand that the government study the impact of potential deregulations. Needless to say, they left the meeting angrier than they already were, claiming that the Transport Minister refused to hear their concerns.
The spokesperson for the taxi unions hopes to mobilize the whole province to action against this proposed bill, citing that the proposed deregulations will affect up to 22,000 lives.
Taxis are planning to protest en masse at the Transport Minister's office at 500 Boulevard René-Lévesque.
Commuters are recommended to avoid the area as much as possible.
Bill 17 is the Quebec government's proposed plan to deregulate the taxi industry by making working permits and regional restrictions obsolete. Taxi drivers say that this is an insult to their livelihoods and worry about the consequences of this proposed law.
The government has offered $500 million in compensation to affected drivers, intending to calm their anger. So far, this hasn't worked out too well.
Friday is looking like a great day to stay home. Not only are the taxis on strike, but student protests will run throughout the day and the Turcot Interchange will be closed for the whole weekend.
Plan accordingly on Friday if you're planning on going out in the morning. Despite questionable reliability, public transit might be your best bet.
If you're affected in any way, please send in your photos and videos to @MTLBlog on Instagram.
Stay tuned for more updates as this story develops.