EACH province or municipality regulates the taxicab industry differently, particularly in defining the role of drivers providing assistance to customers as part of licensing requirements. Universally, nothing prevents a driver from helping a customer if asked or if there is a need.
- Manitoba: Upon request by the passenger, a driver can assist by placing luggage or packages in and removing them from the taxicab and assist a passenger in and out of a taxicab (as long as he or she believes it is safe to do so).
- Regina: Extend taxi service to all ambulatory persons with physical disabilities, provided that such persons are able to reach the curbside, and enter and leave the taxicab with minimal assistance from the driver, subject to any prior special arrangements or agreements made between a taxicab broker or owner and such persons.
- Calgary: If a passenger requests the assistance of a driver, including the loading or unloading of a mobility aid and provided that the request for assistance is reasonable, the driver shall provide such assistance.
- British Columbia: Passengers may need assistance entering or exiting the taxi and storing items. Taxi drivers may not add charges to the fare for handling luggage.
- Ottawa: Help a disabled person from the curb to the cab.
- Montreal: Help passengers get in or out of the vehicle safely when they obviously need assistance because of age, apparent state of health or a handicap.
- Halifax: No taxi driver shall demand any additional fare for the transportation of wheelchairs, walkers or dog guides accompanying disabled passengers, or for escorting disabled passengers to and from the first accessible door of their pickup or destination.
What CARP has to say
THE Canadian Association of Retired Persons says each province should provide greater assurances hospital patients get home safely.
In a letter to provincial health ministers, CARP says the two recent incidents in Winnipeg highlight a problem across the country.
"This is not the first time we've heard this story," CARP spokeswoman Susan Eng said. "Either there are no protocols for ensuring that patients are accompanied or otherwise get home safely, or the protocols are not followed. Either way, patients are left to fend for themselves."