Within the 15 months leading up to the key council decision that largely swung in Uber’s favour, there was a sharp spike in the number of attempted contacts on September 29. These were mostly emails Joshua Wozenilek, CEO of Dijoto Inc., sent councilors and staff. His company provides driver cashiering and client invoicing software for traditional taxi companies.
“We sought to ensure that they were not fooled by Uber’s politically misleading terms, such as ‘ridesharing,’ which actually means ‘car pooling.’”
Uber Toronto’s General Manager Ian Black was by far the most prolific lobbyist in this highly politicized, acrimonious debate. He made at least 1,731 attempts to reach city staff and councillors through various means — more than the total number of attempts made by all taxi industry lobbyists and supporters combined. The company also relied on four lobbyists from StrategyCorp Inc.: Stephen Adler, Emily Naddaf and principals John Duffy and John Matheson.
Amarjeet Chhabra, Executive Director of the iTaxiworkers Association, was the most aggressive lobbyist for the taxi industry. He reached out to city staff or met elected officials 268 times. Government relations/PR firms Sussex Strategy Group and Navigator Inc. also worked to sway votes in the industry’s favour.