Canadian Underwriter

B.C. Green Party leader to re-introduce ridesharing legislation in the fall

August 22, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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The leader of the BC Green Party said on Monday that he will re-introduce legislation this fall to enable ridesharing in the province.

Andrew Weaver said in a press release that he has twice introduced the Ridesharing Enabling Act, once in April 2016 and again in February 2017.

“All parties want to see B.C. be a leader in the emerging economy,” Weaver said in the release. “To do so, government must take a proactive, responsive approach that considers the wide ranging impacts of technological innovation. Vancouver is the largest city in North America without ridesharing – it is time we finally made this service accessible to British Columbians.”

Weaver said that he is encouraged that all three parties agreed to bring ridesharing to the province in the past election and that an instruction to do so was included in the Premier’s mandate letter to Claire Trevena, the current Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “However, the mandate letter includes no timeline, and British Columbians continue to wait,” Weaver said in the release. “By working together, we can finally bring ridesharing to B.C. in a way that meets the needs of consumers while ensuring that B.C. businesses is able to thrive.”

In the 2017 B.C. election, the BC Liberal Party won 43 seats, one short of a majority, compared to 41 for the BC NDP and three for the BC Green Party. The Liberals were defeated in a confidence vote and NDP leader John Horgan became Premier, with the support of the BC Green Party.

The Canadian Press reported on Monday that the former Liberal government had backed ridesharing services such as Uber to operate in the province by the end of the year, while introducing initiatives to help the taxi industry remain competitive, such as exclusive rights to street hailing for taxis. The Liberals had also promised $1 million to help the taxi industry create an app that would allow the public to order and pay for cabs the same way they would with a ride-hailing service.

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