More than 70 members gathered Monday night at the annual OLOA dinner and business meeting held at the Woodbine Golf Club in Toronto. (Photo by Tom Halligan/LCT)
TORONTO — Members of the Ontario Limousine Owners Association (OLOA) gathered Monday evening at Toronto’s Royal Woodbine Golf Club for their annual dinner and business meeting. More than 70 limousine operators and guests attended the event, which included updates and discussions on operator and industry issues.
OLOA President John Dahdaly (Cullitons Limousine) updated members on a successful meeting with Toronto’s Licensing Commission that addressed operator concerns. Dahdaly said he and OLOA Treasurer Joe Ironi (Global Alliance Worldwide) discussed adding a one-year extension to the vehicle age requirement for both stretches and sedans, and requested that the commission’s 2005 bylaws and regulations be updated to reflect changes in the luxury transportation industry.
The general Q&A portion of the meeting focused on the emergence of Uber in Canada and its effects on operator business. Members held a lively discussion on the new transportation app technology — some voicing strongly against Uber while others viewed it as a technology that also could help operators compete and increase business. However, all members agreed that the technology was not going away, but discussed what can be done to make sure Uber and other app-based competitors are regulated to protect the interests of Canadian operators.
Dahdaly also informed members that the association will hold its second annual Canadian Summit in August, 2014 with details on the event to follow. Phil Bozzelli, association treasurer, told members that the 16-year-old OLOA is a strong association, and according to the National Limousine Association (NLA), ranks in the top five of NLA associations with an average of 140 to 180 members.
-- Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast Editor, reporting from Toronto