Today in the legislature I reintroduced my private member’s bill now titled Rideshare Enabling Act, 2017. This bill is intended to continue the important public dialogue about the rules we need to make ridesharing a reality for British Columbia.
Provinces and cities across Canada and throughout North America have been using ridesharing technology for years. But BC struggles to articulate a vision for promoting innovation in the tech sector. In fact, 22 CEOs and founders from Vancouver’s tech industry wrote an open letter last year to the BC government stating “we are compelled to express our concern regarding the provincial government’s long-standing inaction on ridesharing regulation in B.C. and how we now find ourselves falling behind the rest of the world.”
British Columbians have only heard mixed things from the government on the topic of ridesharing. When the cabinet minister responsible for developing regulations for ridesharing services calls these emerging companies ‘pushy’, it doesn’t set the right tone.”
In my view, it’s time the conversation was more transparent and engaged British Columbians about what they want to see happen with these innovative new services. There are numerous voices calling for this government to truly support the emerging tech sector. For some reason, they are having a hard time being heard by this government.
Below are the video and text of the introduction of my bill together with our accompanying media release.
A. Weaver: I move that a bill intituled Rideshare Enabling Act, 2017, of which notice has been given, be introduced and read a first time now.
A. Weaver: I’m very pleased to be introducing a bill intituled the Rideshare Enabling Act, 2017. Ride-sharing is part of the new creative economy happening in B.C. Various programs exist around the world that use ride-share technology, and other jurisdictions have brought in legislation to address the application of this technology in our society. B.C., however, is falling quickly behind. Vancouver is now the largest city in North America without an operating ride-share company, like Lyft, for example, or Uber.
Legislation is needed to provide provincial standards that must be followed for any ride-sharing program to exist in our province. This bill is intended to continue that conversation.
I move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
Bill M206, Rideshare Enabling Act, 2017, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
February 16th, 2017
For immediate release
Weaver Introduces Rideshare Enabling Legislation
VICTORIA B.C. – The Rideshare Enabling Act was introduced today in the BC Legislature by Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head.
“The sharing economy exists and it’s going to get bigger,” says Weaver. “Rideshare technology is a part of that new economy and we need to create rules so that these industries don’t operate in a vacuum.”
“The B.C. Liberals are trying to rebrand themselves as champions of new technology after their colossal LNG failure, but they can’t be taken seriously on this file. They are already so far behind and continue to be barriers to innovation.”
Ridesharing, a driver using their personal vehicle to accept a trip request from a rider using mobile technology, is an international phenomenon with dozens of technology companies participating. Governments around the world and across Canada have embraced ridesharing to increase transportation options, encourage less personal car ownership, reduce impaired driving, create more income opportunities, and facilitate more efficient transportation. To date, over 70 states and cities across the United States and many more around the world have adopted ridesharing regulations.
Weaver introduced his private member’s bill with the intention of starting a conversation about what legislation would best meet the needs of British Columbians. This process needs to involve intensive consultation with municipal governments, the BC Taxi Association, and British Columbians across the province.
“Public safety must be a priority as we move forward with ridesharing in this province and to do so we need to legislate certain common standards. We need to ensure that anyone participating as a driver in rideshare technology doesn’t have a criminal record or history of reckless driving. Refusing to discuss the issue is not helping.”
“I’m hopeful the government takes a look at the bill I brought forward and realizes that they need to address this situation. They cannot continue to keep their heads in the sand. We need smart regulations that don’t create an unfair market.”
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Mat Wright, Press Secretary
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