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Falsely Accused Cabbies to be Fired

February 2, 2011 permalink

Did a family court proceeding demote you from your professional job to taxi driver? You won't even be able to do that work in Winnipeg. Taxi drivers will have to clear a child abuse registry check. Unlike the current criminal check most persons on the child abuse registry are there on account of false allegation, and there is no procedure for clearing a false entry.



City taxi drivers protest mandatory child abuse checks

Starting April 1st, city cabbies will have to undergo mandatory child abuse registry checks on top of criminal background checks that are already in place.
Photo Credit: Global News, Winnipeg

Another battle is brewing between Winnipeg taxi drivers and those who are suppose to regulate the industry.

Starting April 1st, child abuse registry checks will be mandatory for all cabbies to make sure they've never been convicted of an offense against kids, in addition to the criminal background checks that are already in place.

Some taxi drivers are upset they will soon have to undergo more criminal background checks.

"We already have criminal background checks every four years," said Unicity Taxi manager, Gurmail Mangat.

The new rules were ordered by the province to ensure the safety of all passengers including children.

In a statement to Global News, a provincial spokesperson said: "Taxies and limos can be called upon to transport children in CFS care... and they can be called upon to transport vulnerable children to school or medical appointments."

Officials deny the changes were triggered after two Winnipeg cabbies were accused of sexually assaulting passengers last year.

Mangat says the move is unnecessary because drivers rarely pick up children under 12-years old.

"First, any child under twelve that we drive has a staff member with them every time," said Mangat. "And number two, we don't have very many calls."

Unicity says it won't comply with the new rules until it meets with the Taxi Cab Board to discuss its concerns.

Meanwhile, the Winnipeg School Division supports the new changes.

Thirty of its 2,100 students rely on taxis to get to school every day.

"We do have some students that we do have to provide different access to schools,” said WSD chair, Suzanne Hrynyk. “We do that through taxi cab service."

While criminal back ground checks are required, it's still unclear whether that already includes child abuse registry checks.

"It's our expectation, through our contract holder, that they would be following all of the provisions in the statute," said Hrynyk.

Source: Global Winnipeg