AMC opposes the City of Winnipeg’s pursuit of taxi pre-payment
Treaty One Territory, MB _ The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is disappointed the City of Winnipeg is pursuing the development of a mandatory taxi pre-payment pilot project that would require all taxi passengers to pre-pay on certain days and times.
“The Taxi Pre-Payment Pilot appears to be working toward a pre-determined conclusion to solidify pre-payment instead of focusing on how the existing provision of taxi services continues to adversely impact First Nations women,” said AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “Currently, taxi drivers are already allowed to ask for pre-payment, and there are no restrictions on the time or date when the pre-payment can be requested. The AMC has heard that this practice is unilateral, and is not applied in the same way to all individuals.”
In 2016, a number of grassroots individuals developed voluntary rideshare services for Indigenous women such as Neechi Rides and Ikwe Safe Rides. Since then, new rules were put in place that restricted rideshare services, and only Ikwe Safe Rides remains.
Grand Chief Dumas continued, “AMC continues to hear from First Nations women that they still have concerns with using taxis, including harassment and inappropriate behaviour. The regulation of volunteer ridesharing effectively limited the response to the reality of the taxi industry in Winnipeg. The City of Winnipeg should meaningfully respond to the issues of the safety of First Nations women that would include requiring mandatory cultural sensitivity training.”
The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Reclaiming Power and Place, identifies ways in which the City of Winnipeg can require mandatory cultural sensitivity training. Call to Justice 8.1 calls for Transportation Service Providers and the Hospitality Industry to undertake training to identify and respond to sexual exploitation and human trafficking, as well as the development and implementation of reporting policies and practices.
Grand Chief Dumas concluded, “The City of Winnipeg should stand up to the powerful taxi lobby, and instead of seeking input to justify the pre-collection of fares, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and City Council should take leadership on the issue of safety and prevent violence against First Nations women when taking taxis. I look forward to working with Mayor Bowman and the City on developing a response to the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, including Call to Justice 8.1.”
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Phone: (204) 987-4139