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Looming taxi protest could disrupt NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto

Last Updated Jan 28, 2016 at 10:10 am EDT

Taxi drivers are planning large-scale protests aimed at shutting down Uber, including one demonstration that’s threatening to disrupt the NBA All-Star weekend in February.

The last mass cabbie protest snarled Toronto traffic last month.

The next ‘day of action’ is set for Tuesday in Ottawa. Hundreds of taxi drivers from several cities – including the GTA – are expected to ‘bus in’ to Parliament Hill, demanding action from the federal government against Uber.

In Toronto, city council will meet next Wednesday to decide whether or not to pass an injunction against the ride-sharing service.

If councillors vote against an injunction, cabbies say they’ll take their protests to the next level, possibly staging major demonstrations starting Feb. 12, just as the NBA’s All-Star event comes to town.

Representatives from all of the region’s taxi associations will sit down together for the first time on Feb. 7 to plan their next move.

Last Friday, Uber was granted a City of Toronto taxi brokerage licence, putting it on equal ground as regulated taxi companies such as Beck and Royal.

Toronto, like many cities around the world, has been struggling to monitor ridesharing services like Uber since it first set up shop in 2012.

Earlier this month, insurance company Aviva Canada announced that it had plans to provide ride-sharing drivers with special coverage.