February 12, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of surveyed Canadians say that Uber should be subjected to the same regulations as the taxi industry, while only one in six (17%) would ban it in their city, according to a public opinion poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute.
The study, conducted online from Jan. 27-31 and Feb. 10-11, used randomized samples of 1,503 and 1,505 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum, the Angus Reid Institute said in a press release on Friday. Probability samples of these sizes would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The poll, self-commissioned and paid for by the institute, found that a “majority in every region” supported the belief that Uber should be regulated in the same way that taxis are, but the feeling was strongest in Quebec at 72%. It was weakest in both British Columbia and Manitoba at 53%.
Perhaps not surprisingly, people who have used Uber are most likely to take the opposite position. Some 60% of polled past Uber users said the company should be allowed to continue operating without the same regulations as taxi.
That data suggests that when it comes to allowing Uber, many Canadians would like to find a regulatory “middle ground,” as Edmonton city council attempted to do in its recently approved bylaw legalizing Uber in the city.
Asked whether they think Uber should be allowed to operate in their city, 17% said “definitely not,” 33% said “yes, definitely,” and 40% said “maybe, under the right circumstances.” There were significant regional differences on the “definitely” options, with Albertans most supportive of Uber operating in their cities (50% said “yes, definitely,” while 7% said “no, definitely not”) and Quebecers most like to oppose Uber (21% said “yes, definitely” and 34% said “no, definitely not”). [click image below to enlarge]
The poll also examined Airbnb – a service that allows people to rent out their properties on a short-term basis – and found that Canadians were more hands-off when asked about regulating the service compared to Uber. Fifty-seven per cent of those polled favoured allowing Airbnb to continue operating without the same regulations as hotels, while 43% said Airbnb should be regulated in the same way that hotels are.
On nearly every question in the survey, responses varied significantly by the age of respondents. Younger Canadians tended to be more favourable toward both Uber and Airbnb, while older Canadians are likely to favour regulating each company in the same way as traditional industries are regulated. For example, 70% of those polled aged 18 to 24 said that they would be comfortable with their immediate neighbours renting out their space on Airbnb, compared to only 41% of those aged 65 and older.