A cab in downtown Whitehorse. Taxi drivers in the city may soon have to take mandatory training, pending the passage of a new vehicle-for-hire bylaw. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse to require taxi training if council passes bylaw change

Proposal comes after women’s groups raise safety concerns

The City of Whitehorse may offer mandatory training for taxi drivers starting this year.

Tom Wyers, bylaw services supervisor with the city, said that if a new vehicle-for-hire bylaw gets council approval, the three-to-four day training course will be offered beginning this fall.

In 2019, he said it will cost money to take the course, but, pending council approval, if drivers sign up for one of the three course dates tentatively slated for September, October and November, the course will be free.

The course will be taught by Kyle Morrison, an education officer with the city.

Wyers said Morrison was trained to teach the course by the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), which has been offering taxi driver training since 1996.

Harry Randhawa, a coordinator and instructor with JIBC, said the course was developed as a response to inconsistency among drivers in B.C. in the 1990s.

It was made mandatory, and a requirement under bylaws in the Lower Mainland, along with hardwired cameras. The new Whitehorse vehicle-for-hire bylaw also calls for these.

“There were so many issues that we were seeing at the time,” Randhawa told the News. “Some companies were doing excellent in terms of training, others were basically like, if you had a heartbeat you could get on the road. We needed some kind of consistency.”

Randhawa said JIBC was a pioneer when it came to taxi training, and has been around longer than any other training service in Canada.

As such, “we pretty much consulted with every jurisdiction that has (come up with training) since then,” he said.

Training focusses on road safety, but also on passenger and driver safety and good hosting. There’s a day devoted to service standards and tourism (“Drivers are ambassadors and they’re an integral part of tourism infrastructure,” Randhawa said.), and a day devoted to access and inclusion for those with disabilities, including, he said, visual impairment.

The City of Whitehorse’s vehicle-for-hire bylaw was re-written in 2015 to include stricter record checks, different cameras, and services for those with disabilities. Most of those rules came into effect in May 2017.

The new draft came about after a number of women’s groups raised concerns with council in late 2017 over passenger safety. At the time, RCMP had recently charged a taxi driver with the sexual assault of two women passengers.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

CANNABIS SPECIAL: Government pot shop opens in time for legalization

About 120 products will be carried, including joints and ingestible oils

CANNABIS SPECIAL: Where to go to celebrate cannabis legalization

Yukon businesses have come up with ways to celebrate in solidarity

CANNABIS SPECIAL: The economics of weed in the Yukon

YG shows up in several places, since it will be both a seller, a regulator and a tax collector

Yukon government starts talking electoral reform

Yukon government launches survey to find out what Yukoners think about electoral reform

Climate change isn’t a one-issue issue for council candidate

Considering climate change can address other municipal concerns, says Kim Lisgo

Yukon soccer teams represent at Canada Soccer National Championships U15 Cup

“Everybody brought their game to a totally new level and set a (new) bar”

Commentary: Celebrating Hanksgiving

Instead of a cornucopia centrepiece filled with autumn foods and flora, we use the Wilson volleyball

U Kon Echelon holds weekend mountain bike racing camp in Whitehorse

“It’s incredible the changes I’m seeing from when we started in September to now”

Liberals to scope out ‘efficiencies’ in departments

The premier was asked about ostensible reductions to department budgets at question period

You and your new car warranty

There are some things that may put your new vehicle or extended warranty at risk

Whitecaps, TSE partner for new youth soccer academy centre program

“They’re building on that relationship”

History Hunter: A tribute to the Palace Grand Theatre

It was the best designed and most pretentious of all the theatres in Dawson City

Most Read