NEWS

Ottawa taxi driver suspended after refusing to move for ambulance

06/10/2015 06:54 EDT | Updated 06/10/2016 05:59 EDT
An Ottawa taxi driver has been suspended after he refused to move for an ambulance and went on an expletive-laden rant captured in a video posted to YouTube.

Hanif Patni, president and CEO of Coventry Connections, said his company is investigating the Capital Taxi driver, who argued against moving his taxi stationed in front of the Rideau Centre.

Patni told Robyn Bresnahan on CBC's Ottawa Morning that the behaviour caught on the video was "completely unacceptable."

He noted the irony that a worker in what he called one of the most diverse workforces in the city would be shouting racist curses.

"We were appalled just like anybody else would be," said Patni.

City, cab company could sanction driver

The driver has been suspended based on the video, said Patni, and an investigation is underway to determine what sanctions he will face.

He said both Coventry Connections, which runs the dispatch system for Blueline, Capital, DJ's and Westway Taxi, and the City of Ottawa bylaw department have the power to discipline and potentially dismiss the taxi driver.

In the video, a security guard and several other taxi drivers can be seen talking to the driver in an attempt to get him to move from his spot in anticipation of an ambulance that was coming to the Rideau Centre to assist a woman inside the building.

The driver, while acknowledging he would move when the ambulance arrived, went off on the rant against the security guard and several others who attempted to calm him down and get him to move before finally driving off.

Patni also confirmed a Blueline driver caught on YouTube arguing with a bylaw officer has been charged with acting discourteously in front of a customer.

WARNING: Video below contains extremely coarse and offensive language.

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