John Bliss


Anyone including the White Anglo-Saxon males can easily be a victim of racism: Just ask my dearly departed grandfather.  Upon his arrival here in 1906 his employability was hampered by signs everywhere that read “Help Wanted: no Englishmen need apply”.

You might want to call that reverse discrimination—a common misnomer in face of the reality that there is no such thing as “reverse discrimination”.  It is pure discrimination and racism no matter the victim’s ethnic background. It is still racism.

Flash forward three generations and there I am driving a cab in pursuit of a college education.  After graduation, I began working in Alberta’s oilfields and quickly discovered an unbelievably shocking level of racism throughout Alberta.

I shocked at the incidence of racism everywhere, particularly in housing and employment.  Compared to other provinces where I lived, Alberta landlords and employers were cherry picking the race of their choice with impunity, for unlike the rest of Canada, human rights laws were archaic and unenforced on a variety of political pretexts.

The taxi industry was brutal and stood out as the poster boy for racism anywhere in Canada.  It was a regular occurrence for me to see customers at taxi stands leaning to check the skin color of a cab’s driver before hiring.  They were not infrequently belligerent when I told such customers to take the first cab in the que.

I had my own taxi and as such, would hire drivers.  I was then with Red Top Taxi a white man only company.  Being a Baha’i I was not about to get racist in my hiring practices.

In 1984 I found myself in trouble with the company over my hiring a person of color.  I stood my ground and went to the Alberta Human Rights Commission.  The commission told me that white persons could not complain on behalf of visible minorities and if my religion were an obstacle, I should work for another broker or start my own company.

In other words, it was obvious that the government of the day was unclear of the concept that members of the Ku Klux Klan were not qualified as intake officers for the commission.

Both Calgary’s taxi brokers and local politicians were brazenly racist to the extreme.  One manager said “I’m not prejudiced, I simply hate their guts” while a city councilor walked up to a group of company managers in my presence and blurted “You boys don’t need to worry, we’ll (city council) take care of those turban heads for you.”  It was obvious where council’s in camera debates were heading.

It was clearly obvious that cab drivers—most of whom by the mid 1980’s were visible minorities, had to cope with politicians who were publicly champions of racial equality and in camera racists from the word go.

That generation of political leadership is now a thing of the past, for children of today are racially colorblind.  Kids today are noticeably intolerant of racist attitudes.  It clearly shows that extermination of racism begins with the education the suckling generation and the public in general.

Society can’t even begin to reconcile with oppressed minorities.  Reconciliation simply doesn’t work.  Instead embrace each other’s racial and cultural heritage, for true reconciliation is through embracement and not apologies for past wrongs.

For example, why not instruct school boards to teach the First Nations language of the tribe where the school board is located and name a street or other landmark after DR PETER HENDERSON BRYCE —a champion of native rights.

John bliss©2020





John Bliss

Taxi deregulation has finally come to Quebec with François Bonnardel’s bill 17, An Act Respecting Remunerated Passenger Transportation by Automobile is now law and will take effect on October 20 this year.

The new legislation takes control of regulation away from municipalities and into the hands of the province in an effort to allow industry stakeholders greater flexibility in coping with changing market conditions and new technologies.

While not perfect, it is by every means the best legislation to put in its appearance since the onset of the “Uber crisis” in 2015.

Here is what the legislation does:

1: Municipalities will no longer regulate the industry, instead, it will fall under the jurisprudence of Quebec’s Commission des transports du Québec (Quebec Transportation Commission) who will then oversee all matters relating to the taxi/limousine industry clean across the province.

2: It abolished the use of such terms as brokers and TNCs (Transportation Network Companies such as Uber) and replaces them with the term “transportation system”—a term that embraces all automobile modes of transportation including ridesharing. Transportation systems may have any combination of vehicle types. In other words, a transportation system can have both taxis and ride sharing cars in their fleet and work in tandem with the same dispatcher.

3: Ride sharing vehicles are restricted to receiving trip offers through app dispatching. They are prohibited from prearranged trips and telephone dispatching, which remain the exclusive preserve of traditional top light equipped taxis.


4: A driver may, for the sake of customer convenience, pick up a fare outside the city for which he is licensed if he should clear a trip within another city’s jurisdiction. That could conceivably include dispatched trips since Bill 17 makes no such restriction.


5: The new bill legalized price competition due to Uber’s persistent undercutting the regulated fares taxis had to comply with.


6: The medallion system—a system that limits the number of transferrable taxi permits, is now abolished. And therein lay the primary source of cabby opposition to the bill. After all, who likes seeing a relieving anyone of a $220,000 investment?


The government has provided $816 million compensation program for its 7600 medallion holders. It will be financed with a 90 cent per trip tax.


That’s average of $107,368.42 per permit holder. François Bonnardel, Quebec’s transport minister says that is the government’s final offer. In my opinion that is not an unreasonable offer.


Let us be clear about one thing though. An open entry system of cab licensing system as experienced in other jurisdictions will lead to extreme market fragmentation without a prohibition against fixed stand rents and leasing fees drivers pay to their fleet owners and dispatchers. Uber’s commission system is a much better system provided drivers are protected through collective agreements and employment standards legislation.


In fact, Uber’s commission system of stand rents is the primary reason many traditional taxi drivers migrate from taxis to Uber.

Industry stakeholders must overcome the taxi shibboleths of yesteryear and get into the 21st century if they wish to survive.


Drivers and their customers both substantially benefit from the new legislation. Here’s hoping other jurisdictions have sufficient wisdom to follow suit.

Click here to see the entire legislation


The reality of taxi service is this: People want a cab to arrive in a timely fashion with a well-motivated and highly professional driver who will take them from point A to B in a timely fashion at a reasonable and affordable cost without incident.

Timely arrival of taxis has been a problem in many cities particularly where persons with  disabilities are concerned.

The solution of course is of course centralizing the dispatch system worldwide.  Can this be done?  And just what is centralized dispatch anyway?

In a word, it works like this:  You order a taxi and the company you called can send you a cab within 15 to 20 minutes.  Fair enough, but why wait so long when another cab from another company just cleared right next door? With a centralized dispatch system in place, the cab next door is the cab that would pick you up.  Quite simple eh? 

Look at it this way:  There are roughly 70 million taxis operating in the world today.  With today’s technology, only one dispatcher is necessary for the entire lot irrespective of the prevailing language spoken where the driver operates.

The international dispatcher would have to be a robot as no human is equal to such a task.

Even the international robot would need other robots located around the world in a variety of jurisdictions—each with their own unique exigencies and laws.  And those robots are already in action—and we even have a name for them: Taxi Brokers or Cab companies near you.

The robotic international taxi broker would link up with all the local taxi brokers world wide and link all these brokers together as if they were a single company.

That means when you call a cab the international dispatcher will send you a taxi with a well-trained professional driver behind the wheel that is physically closest to you irrespective of the company that you called.

Persons with smart phones can now use just one app to connect with a local taxi anywhere in the world when you travel.  The wheelchair bound person will undoubtedly have wait times sharply reduced to acceptable levels and greatly improve their overall quality of life.

That is precisely the kind of service ProCabby is offering to the worldwide public.

ProCabby Ltd. Is an Ottawa based companies that is currently recruiting cab drivers and brokers right now. 

The company was founded only two years ago and has successfully recruited enough drivers in 37 cities here in the United States and Canada.  They are also lobbying local politicians to secure contracts and legislative changes where necessary.

Taxi drivers and brokers sign up now no matter where you live—even if ProCabby is not yet there or have the likes of Uber—a company that dispatches all of its trips with one robot to be found in San Francisco, swallow you up for good.

You can register with them by going to .  If you’re a taxi/Uber customer you can do so too.  And don’t worry if ProCabby is not available where you live.  It’s only a matter of time and your membership will function as a petition when ProCabby approaches taxi companies and government officials.