Iqaluit cab drivers protest over rocks being thrown at their cars

·2 min read
Caribou Cabs taxi drivers protested in Iqaluit Saturday evening. Drivers said rocks have been thrown at the cabs over the past three years and nothing is happening even after reporting it to RCMP. (Jordan Konek/CBC - image credit)
Caribou Cabs taxi drivers protested in Iqaluit Saturday evening. Drivers said rocks have been thrown at the cabs over the past three years and nothing is happening even after reporting it to RCMP. (Jordan Konek/CBC - image credit)

Taxi drivers in Iqaluit stopped providing service around 7 p.m. Saturday evening to protest against youth throwing rocks at their cars, an issue one cab company owner said has been going on for the past three years.

At least 20 Caribou Cabs taxis parked near the Northmart, and they weren't taking any passengers.

Danny Savard, the owner of Caribou Cabs, negotiated with the drivers to go back on the road, but the drivers said they were fed up.

Taxi driver Omar Yuosef said drivers have called the RCMP, the City of Iqaluit, schools and the company management for help.

"You know rocks and the speed of the car it's going to make damage for sure so that's why we're here, just for the safety of the roads," said Yuosef.

"The roads are not safe, we don't feel that nobody is helping us with this, so we want to send a small message for the community to help us a bit. You know it's been going on for at least three years and nobody has been helping."

Iqaluit City councillor Kyle Shepard went to see the drivers at Northmart and offered to meet with them Tuesday evening to hear their concerns. The drivers later drove around Iqaluit as a group to raise awareness of the problem. Taxi service in Iqaluit resumed later on Saturday evening.

Savard said he spoke with the mayor and was told the city would help resolve the issue.

He added that he didn't know the cab drivers were planning to gather Saturday evening, but that he's aware of the reason behind the protest.

"It's a situation I've been dealing with, it's been … an ongoing problem," he said. "The drivers took the matter into their own hands."

He said aside from contacting the RCMP and the bylaw department, there's not much he can do.

"Now that we have the mayor on board, hopefully, we can get some public awareness," Savard said.

"This has gone on for the past three years and I would like to have the issue solved and have safe cabs for everybody, not just the drivers, but for the customers that are riding in the cabs also."

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