Ahead of the 2017 BC election, Daily Hive has produced a range of guides to the key issues affecting young voters. To find all the guides and our full BC Election coverage, click here: Battleground BC.
The BC NDP would bring rideshare services to BC if they are elected, but the process could take a while, according to party leader John Horgan.
In a sit-down interview with the Daily Hive editorial team, Horgan revealed the NDP will not be following the Liberals’ plan to bring rideshare to BC by December 2017.
“I’m probably not your guy if December is your deadline,” said Horgan.
“I’m not following (the Liberals’) plan. Rideshare is coming and we have a plan. We are going to open up hearings to have people come and tell us how and why we should do it,” said Horgan.
An open discussion
The NDP platform promises that “customers will get timely, safe, quality service by harnessing the benefits of ridesharing services to build on the existing taxi system.”
But the platform does not specify the steps the NDP will take to bring rideshare to the province.
Horgan told Daily Hive the NDP would first open up a discussion in legislature to develop a rideshare plan.
“What I want to do is have an open discussion so that people who are going to be adversely impacted by this decision are going to be able to have their say in public,” he said.
However, Horgan would not specify how long this discussion process would take.
Taxi industry must ‘adapt’
When pressed, he said a BC NDP government could bring rideshare to the province as early as May 2018, but blamed the BC Liberal government for delaying the process.
“They waited till the last minute, they didn’t tell us anything. Like, it was all for advantage rather than for public benefit and thats why I don’t know when we are going to get it done.”
Horgan does say he would try to make it happen as quickly as possible, in a way that’s fair and will meet the needs of the travelling public.
However, he says, levelling the playing field for taxi industry must be made a priority.
“I want to make sure that as (rideshare) comes in, that the new consequences aren’t extremely adverse on the existing industry and the costs of participating are as close as you can possibly get them in terms of what Uber and Lyft would have to pay to access your patronage on a Saturday night,” said Horgan.
Horgan also said he wanted to ensure the income tax regime for an offshore company like Uber would be the same as the local taxi companies.
Nevertheless, the taxi industry will have to adapt, Horgan said.
“I would expect that the existing industry will be adapting as quickly as possible, and if it doesn’t then it won’t exist anymore.”
To find more guides to all the issues, young voter profiles, and interviews with the BC party leaders, check out our full BC Election coverage here: Battleground BC.