Concerns about women’s safety in Winnipeg taxi cabs brought about a dozen people together on Monday evening to talk about strategies to address the issue.

The meeting at the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre was organized by Bentley Dubois, who said numerous friends have told him they are too afraid to take taxis after being harassed and verbally abused.

The issue of safety in taxis has surfaced in recent days, with indigenous Winnipeggers offering free, safe rides to women who have experienced racism or rude behaviour in cabs. Dubois said he’s happy to see friends step up and offer free rides, but he believes more can be done.

He said the meeting on Monday aimed to brainstorm “what kind of strategies we can come up with to make the taxi board more aware of this … either that or the government, because there is no vehicle for us to follow through with any kinds of complaints.”

The chairman of the Manitoba Taxicab Board, David Sanders, told CBC News last week that he has heard a number of sexual harassment complaints, and drivers’ licences have been suspended.

However, Sanders said anyone with complaints should file formal complaints if they want the board to act on them.

As for Dubois, he said he wants to examine the scope of the issue and find out how many women have encountered problems with taxi drivers in the past couple years.


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