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Calgary cab driver suspended for discriminatory behaviour
A local taxi driver has had his licence pulled for 30 days after a complaint was filed with Livery Services accusing him of discriminatory behavior.
Livery Transport Services received the complaint on July 4 against a city taxi driver alleging discrimination towards two male passengers.
An investigation was launched and the cab’s video was reviewed.
Stephen Eze’s licence has been suspended until August 5, 2015 at which time he will appear before a review hearing to determine the status of his licence.
“Calgarians and visitors alike should feel safe when traveling in Calgary by taxi,” said Mario Henriques, chief livery inspector. “Under The City of Calgary Livery Transport Bylaw, section 85, every driver while operating a taxi, must be professional and courteous. And in this situation our investigation has shown the driver’s actions were neither professional nor courteous.”
The men say they were picked up by a Calgary United Cab over the weekend and that the driver became upset when they shared a kiss.
Nolan Hill says the driver told them he didn't want two men kissing in his cab and said they would have to get out if they did it again.
Hill released a statement saying that he went through the proper channels to report the incident and that he wanted to share the story to "highlight a broader issue in the city."
"I have heard that the driver in the case has been suspended. I am now processing what has been an overwhelming couple of days," he said in a statement to CTV News. "I went through the channels which I deemed appropriate to look into this matter. The investigation has followed their appropriate steps and made a decision, and that is what those steps are there to do."
Naeem Chaudhry is the Manager of Calgary United Cabs and says the company suspended Eze as soon as it learned of the allegations.
“Whenever we hear these kinds of complaints we must have to make sure that the driver has followed the company policy. If not, then we have to see if it is reasonable to drive a cab or not,” he said. “We are disappointed. We hear different complaints from the customer and complaints from the drivers as well sometimes but we don’t allow drivers to make any discriminatory comments which can hurt someone’s feeling and this is a company policy, the driver has nothing to do with someone’s personal lifestyle.”
Livery officials say potential outcomes of the hearing could include additional suspension time, training related to diversity sensitivity and human rights, or a revocation of his licence.