Blackfalds town councillor opposes taxi bylaw

Blackfalds is a growing community and the Town of Blackfalds has decided the time has come for a taxi bylaw to be implemented.

  • Jul. 11, 2013 7:00 a.m.

Blackfalds is a growing community and the Town of Blackfalds has decided the time has come for a taxi bylaw to be implemented.

However, one Town of Blackfalds councillor seems to be uncertain about the bylaw administration has come up with.

On June 17, a draft taxi bylaw was brought to the Standing Committee of Council for review.

Comments and feedback from councillors were then incorporated into the bylaw and it was further reviewed by the Town’s solicitor before returning to council at its regular meeting on July 9.

When the bylaw was brought to council for first reading, Councillor Richard Poole expressed his opposition to the bylaw and asked administration for clarification on several aspects of the legislation.

Poole said he views the taxi bylaw as “draconian” and said there is no other piece of legislation in Blackfalds that make such demands on a business.

He added that he does not understand why Blackfalds should have a bylaw that calls one type of business out in the community at large.

Chief Administrative Officer Corinne Newman disagreed with Poole saying that she does not view the bylaw as draconian and any of the stipulations within it exist only for the safety of Blackfalds residents.

Poole also asked for clarification on the definition of under-qualified drivers, saying that he would like for new drivers who have obtained their class four license to come to Blackfalds in order to gain experience.

He said that he thought Blackfalds would be a great community for new drivers to train and obtain experience early in their careers.

He also expressed his concern that disallowing new taxi drivers to operate in Blackfalds might deter such people from coming to live in the town.

Council ultimately voted to give first reading to the taxi bylaw by a margin of 4 – 1. While Poole was the only councillor to vote in opposition of giving the bylaw first reading, it should be noted that the mayor and deputy mayor were absent from the meeting.

A public hearing regarding the bylaw has been set for Aug. 13 at 7 p.m.

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