Green MLA attempts to get ridesharing legislation on the table — again
But the minister in charge of the file says it's been necessary to take the time to craft a framework that takes into account safety and fair competition
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B.C.’s sole Green Party MLA plans to introduce legislation to enable ridesharing services such as Uber to operate in B.C.
It’s the second time Andrew Weaver has tried to advance the issue in the legislature.
“The province of British Columbia still does not have rideshare legislation and we all know why,” Weaver said. “It’s all about both the government and official Opposition in fear of taxi industry lobbyists.”
Transportation minister Todd Stone has said it’s “only a matter of time” before ridesharing comes to B.C. The government conducted public consultation last fall and Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community and Sport, previously told Metro that the government will probably have a better idea of what ridesharing regulations would look like by the end of this year.
“Then we would have to look at the legislative calendar if we’re going to make changes.”
The spring sitting of the legislature began this week, but Fassbender is now saying the BC Liberals will take a position on the issue before the upcoming provincial election in May.
“We will continue do the work that needs to be done to look at a possible Made in BC solution, taking into account the interests of all stakeholders, the need to protect passenger safety, and address the public’s desire for more choice, convenience and competition,” read a statement sent to Metro from ministry staffers.
Weaver said the delay is a frustration for consumers and a blow to B.C.’s tech industry. “Nobody…will take you seriously if you don’t even have one of the most common tech innovations, which is rideshare.”
However, the ministry says it’s been necessary to take the time to ensure ridesharing is safe and the new framework provides fair competition for existing and new operators.