ALBERTA

Calgary Cab Driver Suspended After Allegedly Telling Men They Couldn't Kiss

07/07/2015 03:11 EDT | Updated 07/08/2015 11:59 EDT

Calgary United Cabs has suspended a driver after he allegedly told two male passengers that they couldn't kiss in his car.

Nolan Hill and friend Justin O'Shea were at the Calgary Stampede grounds when they called for a cab to pick them up between 10:30 and 11 p.m. on Saturday, The Calgary Sun reported.

Once inside, Hill kissed O'Shea on the mouth and the driver objected, he told the newspaper.

"He said, 'No, you can't do that in my cab,'" Hill recounted.

O'Shea then allegedly asked, "Excuse me?" before the driver said, "I don't want two men kissing in my cab — you can't do that and if you do it again I will kick you out."

UPDATE: July 8 -- The cab driver who allegedly told the two men they couldn't kiss says he was worried about them potentially having sex, and that he tells anyone acting that way in his taxi to stop, Postmedia Network reported.

He then allegedly told the passengers that they should be "disgusted."

Hill said O'Shea then became upset at the driver's words and both men asked to be let out, Global News reported.

But the driver allegedly wouldn't let them leave the cab without paying, and started driving more so they couldn't go.

Eventually, the two men paid and found another ride.

But Hill said his friend was so agitated by the driver that he threw a toonie at his dashboard, at which point the cabbie allegedly claimed he was assaulted. Hill also said the driver yelled to another cabbie that they had been kissing.

He drew a response from Calgary United Cabs after tweeting about the experience.

Calgary United Cabs manager Naeem Chaudhry told the Herald that the company suspended the driver after it learned about the incident and confronted him on Monday.

It has obtained video from the cab's on-board camera and sent the footage to the city's Livery Transport Services so that it can be investigated.

"We don't allow (our drivers) to make comments on someone's personal lifestyle," he told the newspaper.

The city confirmed Tuesday afternoon that driver Stephen Eze's licence has been suspended until August 5. Once his suspension has been served, a review will be held to consider additional suspension time, sensitivity training, or a revocation of his licence.

"Under The City of Calgary Livery Transport Bylaw, section 85, every driver while operating a taxi, must be professional and courteous. And in this situation our investigation has shown the driver’s actions were neither professional nor courteous," said Mario Henriques, chief livery inspector, in a statement.

Hill said has also complained to the city and the Calgary Police Service's Diversity Resources Unit.

He is also looking to file a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

"I understand cab companies don't necessarily want people going too hot and heavy in the back — it's not appropriate," Hill told Global News.

"In no world do I think what he and I were doing was inappropriate — they were quick peck kisses — the same thing you'd see in a public mall with straight couples or gay couples."

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