Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz said he would gladly drive intoxicated reporters home tonight if two of the city’s taxicab companies made good on their threat to boycott bars and nightclubs.
Katz, while obviously making a joke Friday when speaking with media, said he wishes Unicity Taxi and Duffy’s Taxi would have brought their concerns to the city first instead of going public.
The issues arise from the alleged mistreatment of cabbies at the hands of Winnipeg police. The companies say drivers have been receiving tickets unfairly while stopped in loading zones. They want to see the zones extended into the evening hours and for police to stop ticketing them while making brief pick-up and drop-offs in no-stopping zones.
A joint letter was sent this week to Mayor Sam Katz and Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill to request a meeting on the issue. All parties have yet to meet, but McCaskill on Thursday said there is no specific crackdown on taxicabs.
The drivers said if their demands for a face-to-face meeting weren’t met, they wouldn’t service bars, nightclubs, and some hotels with adjoining watering holes, from 7 p.m. tonight to 5 a.m. Saturday. On Friday afternoon, Unicity and Duffy’s called off their protest and said a meeting with city officials is scheduled for next week.
Updated at 2:15 p.m.