Cabbies find relief as port authorities lift ban on use of bathrooms

August 1, 2012 - All News

The Toronto Port Authority has backed away from banning taxi drivers from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport’s bathrooms.
The drivers were banned from the bathrooms at the passenger transfer facility on June 17 after a dispute over messy washrooms. The port authority said taxi drivers were responsible for the mess, which the port authority said included urinating and defecating on walls, floors and hand driers.
Drivers said the mess could have been caused by anyone.
On Tuesday, the iTaxiworkers Association, which represents about 750 taxi workers in the city, met with the port authority and promised to “monitor the washrooms and help oversee the facilities” in exchange for re-opening them to taxi drivers, a statement issued by the Toronto Port Authority says.
“Let’s work in partnership with the taxi industry and the (Toronto Port Authority) to keep this facility clean for the betterment of all of the users,” Sajid Mughal, president of iTaxi Workers Association, said in the statement.
A washroom drivers will be allowed to use in the passenger transfer facility is under repair and will be available to drivers again in one week. In the meantime, drivers will continue to use two portable washrooms outside.
In a recent interview with the Star, Mughal said he asked the port authority last week to keep the washrooms open while he worked to monitor the facilities and target individual drivers who left a mess behind, rather than punish all drivers.
He said the port authority declined his proposal.
Eventually, drivers at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will have their own designated washrooms.
The port authority plans to build a corral for the drivers. Mughal expects the facility won’t be ready until the beginning of next year.
Bruce Ryder, a law professor at Osgoode Hall, said disputes like these are usually resolved behind the scenes.
Before the port authority backed away from the bathroom ban, Ryder said it was hard to think of a way the ban could be enforced without discriminatory screening.
“It skirts a dangerous line in terms of their legal obligations. They should be steering clear.”
— Torstar News Service