TORONTO, ON — Five drivers were led out of Toronto city council chambers in handcuffs after a public gallery screaming match over taxi and limousine policy prompted the speaker to temporarily shut down the council and call in police. The chaos began when Councillor Howard Moscoe stood to address a motion that would ban airport limousine and airport taxi drivers from picking up pre-arranged fares within Toronto city limits.
Before Mr. Moscoe could speak a word, Karam Singh Punian, an airport taxi driver in the audience, leapt to his feet and shouted: "He's a liar!" Mr. Punian was one of about 200 drivers who packed chambers to hear council debate an end to the exemption that allows airport drivers to pick up Toronto fares, so long as those fares call first.
Toronto taxi drivers can drive fares to Pearson International Airport, but most are forbidden from picking anyone up there.
After Mr. Moscoe sat down, rival audience members shouted at eachother until the cacophony was so deafening Sandra Bussin, the council speaker, called a recess. Toronto police were called and more than 20 officers poured into the chamber. Eventually, officers led five hold-outs out of the chamber in handcuffs.
City council is expected to try to debate the taxi & limousine issue again very soon.
Source: National Post