Vehicle-For-Hire By-law – Administration – Extension of Time for Taxi Plate
À L'ÉCHELLE DE LA VILLE
Report - Vehicle-For-Hire By-law – Administration – Extension of Time for Taxi Plate.pdf
Community and Protective Services Committee
Comité des services communautaires et de protection
16 February 2017 / 16 février 2017
et au Conseil
22 February 2017 / 22 février 2017
Submitted on February 9, 2017
Soumis le 9 février 2017
Anthony Di Monte, General Manager / Directeur général, Emergency and
Protective Services / Services de protection et d’urgence
Roger Chapman, Manager / Gestionnaire, By-law & Regulatory Services / Services
des règlements municipaux
613-580-2424, x41362 Roger.Chapman@ottawa.ca
Ward: CITY WIDE / À L'ÉCHELLE DE LA
File Number: ACS2017-EPS-GEN-0001
SUBJECT: Vehicle-For-Hire By-law – Administration – Extension of Time for
OBJET: Règlement sur les véhicules de location – Administration –
Prolongation du délai de transfert de plaques de taxi
That the Community and Protective Services Committee recommend that Council
approve an extension of 12 months, from the date of approval, for the transfer of
the plates of two plate holder licensees, under the Vehicle-for-Hire By-law, as
further described in this report.
RECOMMANDATIONS DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité des services communautaires et de protection recommande au
Conseil d’approuver la prolongation de 12 mois, à compter de la date
d’approbation, du délai de transfert des plaques de deux détenteurs de plaques
de taxi aux termes du Règlement sur les véhicules de location, conformément
aux précisions données dans le présent rapport.
The new Vehicle-For-Hire By-law (2016-272), which provides for the licensing and
regulation of taxicab, limousine and private transportation company services in Ottawa,
and took effect on September 30, 2016, replaced the former Taxi By-law (2012-258)
and limousine licensing regulations (Schedule 10 to By-law 2002-189).
Section 99(1) of the Vehicle-For-Hire By-law provides that, in the event of the death of
the holder of a standard or accessible taxi plate license, the heirs, executors,
administrators, successors or assigns or other legal representatives have a period of
twelve (12) months from the date of death of the licensee within which to arrange for the
transfer of the license. An original or notarized copy of the licensee’s death certificate
must be submitted to the City’s Chief License Inspector (CLI) to inform the City of the
death of the licensee. In addition, the transferee must provide the necessary
documentation to the CLI to demonstrate that he or she is eligible for a taxi plate holder
license under the By-law, and also to establish that the transferee is the lawful heir to
the taxi plate holder’s license. In this regard, the nature of the documentation required
will depend on the particular situation of the deceased licensee’s estate, including
whether the deceased died with or without a will, among other factors. The same
transfer provisions and prescribed time period existed in the former Taxi By-law.
Once the 12-month period provided by Section 99 of the By-law has expired, a taxi plate
license is no longer eligible to be transferred under the By-law. Pursuant to Subsection
2(6) of the Vehicle-for-Hire By-law, neither the Chief License Inspector nor the City’s
License and Property Standards Committee have the authority to extend the prescribed
one-year time frame for a plate holder license transfer in the event of the death of the
plate holder. Such an extension would therefore require the specific approval of City
Council. Subsection 2(6) of the previous Taxi By-law had also exempted Council from
granting such an extension when a time period elapsed. This limitation on Council’s
jurisdiction was however removed when the previous by-law provisions were repealed
following the enactment of the Vehicle-for-Hire By-law.
While in most instances the one-year transfer period provided in the Vehicle-For-Hire
By-law following the death of a licensee is sufficient to process a transfer, in certain
circumstances challenges may arise. In the two cases outlined in this report, the
required documentation and arrangements for the transfer of the respective taxi plate
licenses of the deceased were not undertaken or completed within the required 12-
month period. In these two cases, delays arose through challenges presented by family
members residing outside of Canada, the absence of proper documentation being
presented, and an absence of documentation evidencing entitlement of the proposed
transferee to the taxi plate license in question, among other issues noted below.
These challenges have created specific situations of special circumstances that require
consideration of an exemption under the By-law for fairness. As a result, staff
recommends that additional time be provided to the families in question to afford them
an opportunity to apply for and fulfill the transfer requirements of the By-law. It is noted
that taxi plate licenses would only be issued by the CLI to the prospective transferees if
sufficient documentation has been provided to establish that the transferee in question
is the lawful heir to the license and that the transferee meets all of the requirements of
the By-law for taxi plate holders.
The two cases at issue are as follows:
1. Plate #79 – Deceased Licensee S. Awada:
Mr. S. Awada died on August 10, 2014. He was a standard taxi plate holder licensee in
relation to Plate #79. In this matter, the heirs, executors, administrators, successors or
assigns, or other legal representatives had until August 10, 2015, to arrange for the
transfer of the deceased licensee’s plate to another person. Staff of By-law &
Regulatory Services (BLRS) have determined that, although a verbal inquiry was made
by a family member of the deceased in or about October 2014 for a potential transfer of
the plate to the deceased’s widow, there is no record in BLRS files to support that the
required documentation was filed with the CLI within the prescribed one-year period to
effect the transfer of the taxi plate license, or to demonstrate the identity of the legal heir
to the taxi plate.
While it appears that some documents were provided to BLRS for the CLI’s attention
within the one-year period, these documents would not have been sufficient to establish
the legal heir to the plate. Family members of the deceased have asserted that steps
were taken and representations made to City staff within the one-year period to arrange
for, or at a minimum, to initiate contact with the City for the transfer of the deceased’s
taxi plate license. In this case, the widow of the deceased licensee commenced legal
proceedings in April 2016 against the City seeking a declaration that Plate #79 be
transferred to her. The lawsuit also seeks in the alternative to this relief, a further
declaration seeking to challenge the operative By-law provision as well as damages
against the City for negligent misrepresentation in relation to the verbal contacts had
between the family members and BLRS staff. The City has defended this litigation and
none of the allegations have been proven in court.
Staff’s recommendation that Council approve the granting of another 12-month period in
which to allow the family members to arrange for the lawful transfer of the taxi plate
license to an eligible transferee, would, from an administrative fairness perspective,
reset the clock in this instance, but would nonetheless require that all other elements of
the By-law, including substantive requirements, be met by the heir of the deceased
2. Plates #573, 574, and 575 – Deceased Licensee P. Denis:
Mr. P. Denis died on August 15, 2014, and was a standard taxi plate holder licensee in
relation to the above-noted three plates. It appears from information available in BLRS
files that discussions occurred between City staff and a family member of the deceased
licensee both within and beyond the 12-month transfer period. It appears that there are
potentially three heirs to the plates in question, some of whom resided outside of
Canada during the period in question. As a result, discussions ensued to determine to
whom the plates should be transferred and the most efficient way to effect the transfer.
In this case, however, these discussions proceeded beyond the one-year transfer
period, with the effect of staff inadvertently providing an extension of time to the family
without the authority to do so under the current By-law or the former Taxi By-law. Given
the passage of time and the expiration of prescribed transfer period, staff now
recommends that Council allow an additional 12-month period to allow family members
to complete the transfer process to one or more eligible transferees for the plates in
Based on the foregoing, staff recommends that it is appropriate and administratively fair
in the present circumstances that Council approve an extension to the period during
which the aforementioned plate holder licenses may be transferred to eligible family
members, of twelve months from the date of Council approval of the recommendation. It
is noted that in all cases, taxi plate licenses will only be issued by the CLI to the
prospective transferee if sufficient documentation has been provided to establish that
the transferee in question is the lawful heir to the license and that the transferee meets
all of the requirements of the By-law for taxi plate holders.
There are no rural implications associated with this report.
As the recommendation is purely administrative, no public consultation has been
undertaken. The putative heirs of the deceased plate holder licensees who had
previously contacted BLRS in relation to these specific taxi plates have been duly
There are no legal impediments to Committee and Council considering the
recommendation in this report. It is suggested that extensions of time beyond the
prescribed periods in the By-law occur rarely and only where such is justified such as
for reasons of administrative fairness. It is also noted that the special circumstances
arising in the two situations at issue favour an extension of time in which to allow family
members to undertake the required transfer processes situations. As noted above in
the report, the issuance of the taxi plate licenses in these cases would occur only where
the heir is eligible and is lawfully entitled to the license.
RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS
There are no risk implications associated with the recommendation.
There are no financial implications with this report.
The recommendation does not impact seniors or persons with disabilities.
TERM OF COUNCIL PRIORITIES
There is no direct impact on the 2014-2018 Term of Council Priorities.
By-law & Regulatory Services, in conjunction with the City Clerk and Solicitor
Department (Legal Services), will implement the Council-approved action.
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