Tuesday, July 14, 2015

If you're a Muslim imam driver for a non-licensed taxi service...

In business and in life, there are continuing debates regarding the freedom to say what you want to say vs. the responsibility to ensure that statements are accurate.

Or approved.

Canada, like many other Western countries, is battling small groups of extremists. In an effort to control the activities of one such group, Canadian Senators have drafted some recommendations. One in particular caught the eye of many:

Recommendation No. 9 in the report – the push to certify imams – calls on the federal government to “work with the provinces and the Muslim communities to investigate the options that are available for the training and certification of imams in Canada.”

Presumably such a certification would only be granted after the imam in question swore on a stack of Bibles - whoops, maybe not - that the imam would never ever ever advocate shooting up everyone in sight on Parliament Hill.

Of course, that would never happen in my own country. We'd just outlaw imams.

The whole idea of certification and licensing is not just confined to expression of religious views. As I noted in a Tad Donaghe thread on Facebook, one of the reasons why people object to Uber and Lyft is because their employees - I mean contractors - do not submit to the same regulations that are imposed on taxi drivers. For example, here are the differences between Uber drivers and taxi drivers in Ocean City, Maryland:

The main complaint is that while Uber drivers are required to go through a background check, an application process and have a certain type of vehicle, they don't have to jump through the same hoops as cab drivers. Those obstacles include inspections, stickers, a special type of insurance and, in the case of Ocean City drivers, a medallion. This can cost up to $7,000 to buy, depending on who it's bought from, and $500 to renew each year....

The annual inspections for Ocean City taxi's cost $150, and the annual drug screenings cost $120. Uber drivers don't have to abide by that, nor do they have to operate under the price cap that taxi drivers have to.

So if you're an unlicensed imam in a political jurisdiction that requires imam licensing, and you also work for Uber or Lyft in a jurisdiction that requires taxi licensing, you could run into some problems.

And it could be even worse.

As you drive your customers from place to place, you could dispense medical or legal advice. Then you'll REALLY be in trouble.
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