Rideshare in BC to be examined by all-party committee, BC Greens announce

Nov 24 2017, 2:01 am

The issue of rideshare services like Uber coming to BC will be brought to a committee of MLAs from all three parties, BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has announced.

In a release, the BC Greens said that for the past several weeks, they have been working with the BC NDP to “develop an approach that would allow important questions related to ride-hailing to be canvassed.”

Now, the all-party committee will meet with expert witnesses and produce a report which will be released by February 15, 2018.

The report, Weaver explained, will consider issues such as insurance, public safety and the impact of ride-hailing on different communities and municipalities across the province.

In the release, Weaver said he is “delighted” the issue is “finally being addressed.”

“It has been six years since ride-hailing companies first attempted to enter the BC market,” said Weaver. “All three parties have now agreed that we need to bring this technology to BC in a regulated fashion.”

‘You cannot close a marketplace’

Speaking to Daily Hive last week, Weaver said that every time he gets in a cab, he asks drivers what they think of the rideshare issue.

“I’ve yet to find anybody who’s actually opposed, they couldn’t care less frankly,” he said. “It’s going to happen. The problem we have with ridesharing is fear of upsetting stakeholders.”

In the release today, Weaver said his goal is to make this Christmas season “the last holiday season in which British Columbians are faced with fewer transportation options than every other major city in North America.”

BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver at Daily Hive (Chris Carr/Colony Digital)

BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver at Daily Hive (Chris Carr/Colony Digital)

Also speaking to Daily Hive last week, BC Green Party MLA Adam Olsen echoed Weaver’s thoughts.

“You have to respect the families that are being impacted by the decision being made,” said Olsen.

“But you also cannot for the sake of your donor base – which is essentially the only thing that I can see holding it back right now, powerful lobbies and donor bases – you cannot close a marketplace. It’s completely irresponsible.”

Weaver introduced a bill to allow ride-hailing in BC for the third time in October.

In-mid October the BC NDP announced they hired Dan Hara to conduct a review of the taxi industry, however, the terms of reference did not explicitly include ride-hailing.

“I truly believe we’ll get ridesharing in by next year,” Weaver told Daily Hive.

With files from Jenni Sheppard

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