Winnipeg taxi drivers hold memorial cruise to honour one of their own killed on the job

By | March 24, 2020

Dozens of taxi drivers gathered outside the Manitoba legislature to pay tribute to one of their colleagues killed on the job last week.

The group drove in a procession starting around noon from the legislative building to city hall in honour of Balvir Singh Toor, who died after he was stabbed in his Duffy’s Taxi cab on Thursday.

The chair of the Unicity Taxi board said the local industry is saddened by the loss.

“All other ride-sharing companies, all the drivers who are driving, they’re our friends, they’re our family members,” Tarlochan Gill said. “We want the city to think twice again that they should have the same kind of safety for them.”

In light of Toor’s death, Gill said the city should extend safety features such as cameras, shields and strobe lights to all ride-hailing companies, as part of its vehicle for hire regulations.

Tarlochan Gill, the chair of Unicity Taxi, is calling on the City of Winnipeg to extend mandatory safety features for all ride-hailing companies after his colleague was killed at work on Thursday. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Toor managed to activate an emergency light in his vehicle in the area of Burrows Avenue between McGregor and Andrews streets, where police found him seriously injured. He was rushed to hospital, and later died.

Toor is described as an honest family man who leaves behind three children.

Joseph Majowski, who has been a drvier in the industry for nearly 50 years, said the two shared similar experiences.

“It’s very sad,” he said. “We’re all impacted by it to lesser and greater degrees, myself personally as a fellow driver.”

Majowski said he had passed by Toor in his car, No. 390, on the streets. “It’s far too soon,” he said, hoping to find some closure while surrounded by members of the taxi community.

“We need some help,” he said. “We need some solutions to this, but today is not the day to go into that. Today is a day of mourning.”

Winnipeg police have charged Okoth Obeing, 20, with second-degree murder in connection with Toor’s death. Police said the attack appeared to have been unprovoked.

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