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Introducing Legislation (Again!) to Enable Ridesharing in British Columbia

Today in the Legislature I rose to table, for the third time, a bill, now entitled Bill M203 — Rideshare Enabling and Increased Taxi Occupancy Act, 2017. This bill introduces a regulatory framework that would allow ride-sharing to come to British Columbia.

Shortly after introducing the Bill, I rose in Question Period to ask the Minister of Transportation why we can’t work simultaneously to regulate ride-sharing while updating legislation that pertains to the taxi industry.

Below I reproduce the video and text of the introduction, as well as the accompanying media release.


Video of Introduction



Text of Introduction


A. Weaver: I move that a bill intituled the Rideshare Enabling and Increased Taxi Occupancy Act, 2017, of which notice has been given, be introduced and read a first time now.

I am pleased to introduce a bill intituled Rideshare Enabling and Increased Taxi Occupancy Act for the third time. This bill introduces a regulatory framework that would allow ride-sharing to come to British Columbia.

Our economy is changing, and ride-sharing is but one example of that change. As legislators, we cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore this change. We must embrace it and ensure that it leads to the best outcomes possible for British Columbians.

Introducing ride-sharing into British Columbia is something that all three parties committed to do during the last election campaign. It’s time we fulfilled that promise collectively. In introducing this bill, I’m offering a way forward, one that lets us to grapple with the questions that this industry presents us with.

Mr. Speaker: The question is first reading of the bill.

Motion approved.

A. Weaver: 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 M203, Rideshare Enabling and Increased Taxi Occupancy 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.


Media Release


Andrew Weaver introduces ride-hailing legislation for the third time

For immediate release
October 19, 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, today introduced his Ridesharing Enabling Act for the third time. Weaver previously introduced the bill twice under the past B.C. Liberal government. The bill has been modified slightly from previous versions to enable ICBC to develop an insurance regime for ride-hailing, as well as some other minor modifications.

“Now that all three parties have agreed to bring ridesharing to B.C., it’s time we had a frank and substantive debate on the details of this issue,” Weaver said.

“In the five years since ride-hailing was first introduced to B.C., there has been much fear-mongering and politicization of this issue. The legislature should be a place where people can hear their elected representatives engage in substantive debate about the issues that matter to them. There is no better opportunity to do this than in a minority government where parties need to work together. I urge the B.C. NDP to call this bill forward for debate so that British Columbians can hear an open, transparent discussion on ridesharing from their MLAs.

“B.C. cannot be a leader in the creative economy unless it addresses emerging technologies head-on. Vancouver is the largest city in North America to not regulate this industry. Meanwhile, ride-hailing companies are operating without proper oversight, insurance or regulation.

“Disruptive technologies like ride-hailing have ramifications throughout many facets of society. Parties have rightly raised concerns about how ridesharing will impact existing businesses and public safety. But our job as leaders is to offer solutions. Let’s take this opportunity to do things differently be engaging in a substantive policy-based discussion about this issue that British Columbians have awaited for far too long.”

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

3 Comments

  1. Carol Stinson-Reply
    November 8, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    My daughter is a wheelchair user and transportation is a huge problem for her and our family. Leaving out guaranteed transportation for people with a disability in your legislation is a dismissal of the rights of people with a disability to live and work in their communities. Who is going to provide this more expensive service if they are bound only by wishy-washy words like “reasonable”.

    Accessibility

    (2) A TNC must ensure that a rider is provided with:
    (a) the option to request a wheelchair-accessible ridesharing vehicle, if one is reasonably available to the rider, or
    (b) if no such vehicle is reasonably available, the contact information of a local wheelchair-accessible service, if any.

    This needs a rethink, NOW.

  2. Sylvain Seclaire-Reply
    October 23, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Mr Andrew Weaver,

    Are you talking about RIDE HAILING? Ride sharing (carpooling) exists and is legal in BC.

    SAD to see that the head of a major political party like many journalists can’t even use words accuratly.

    Uber calling its service “ride sharing” has been a key point to their strategy to avoid taxi regulations and mislead policy makers. You have been fooled and now you are trying to fool us.

    By calling Uber and Lift “ride sharing”, you are contributing to their disinformation effort and you are preaching for an unlevelled playing field.

    The taxi industry is broken, stuck in a downward spiral where licenses matter more than customer service (some politicians are responsible for the decisions that lead to this situation). Is deregulation your quick fix? Treating the symptoms and not addressing the root causes?

    Uber is no sharing economy, it offers a great service for its customers, with rates subsidized by burning billions of investor dollars. But more importantly, Uber is a bright example of the most ruthless form of neoliberalism, where employees are considered contractors and bare the lion’s share of the risk.

    Is that your vision for our economy?

  3. Sandy Macdougall-Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 4:22 am

    How much help do you expect from Premier Horgan on this issue?
    Not much, I’ll bet.
    In a few short months, you have morphed from a thoughtful, respectable guy into just another sleazy politician pandering for votes.
    It is interesting to note that Premier Horgan switched positions on ride sharing as he pandered to cab drivers during the election campaign.
    Now you’re pandering to the rest of us on the same issue.
    Your sleazy partnership with Horgan looks sleazier everyday because almost everyone in the province knows Horgan won’t support your private member’s bill and you won’t do anything about it.

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