For the past two years I have been working to implement a legislative framework to enable transportation network companies (also known as ridehailing or ridesharing companies) to operate in British Columbia. I’ve introduced a private members’ bill not once, nor twice but rather three times in the past to try and move this issue forward.
In last fall’s session, the BC Government agreed to move a motion to send the issue of ridesharing to a select standing committee for further deliberations. That motion passed on November 28, 2017 with the support of the BC NDP and the BC Green caucuses, despite every BC Liberal MLA voting against it.
After extensive public consultations and committee deliberations, the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations completed its report which was released today. The report, entitled Transportation Network Companies in British Columbia, provides 32 recommendations to government as it develops legislation to enable ridesharing in this province.
As you will see from my comments during debate on the motion to adopt the report (reproduced in video and text below), I believe the process that led to its development provides an excellent example of collaborative work across party lines.
I am delighted that we now have a pathway forward. I’ll continue to work in the BC Legislature to ensure government introduces legislation in a timely fashion. There really are no longer any excuses for delay.
Below I also reproduce the media release that we released upon adoption of the report.
A. Weaver: It gives me great pleasure to rise and speak to the motion before us and thank the Chair and Deputy Chair for their work in guiding us through this process.
I will say that this is a wonderful example of collaborative work across party lines. We came together as individuals with diverse points of view, with diverse positions, and we came together to come up with a list of recommendations that were unanimously accepted. I think it serves well for future examples of how committees can work in British Columbia to put the betterment of all people front and centre and to recognize that disruptive technologies are critical to embrace while, at the same time, taking steps to do so in a manner that’s fair to those that are already existing here in this province.
Again, I’d like to thank the committee Chair, my committee members, as well as the incredible staff in the B.C. legislative committee Clerk’s office, who unbelievably were able to put together these vast testimonies from a diverse array of expert witnesses in such a short turnover. Without their good work and hard work, we wouldn’t have been able to get to where we are.
Thank you to everyone involved and thank you to the government for initiating this process.
Weaver welcomes all-Party Committee report on ride-hailing
For immediate release
February 15, 2018
VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, welcomed the release of the all-Party Committee report on ride-hailing. The committee was struck after Weaver introduced a Private Member’s Bill to enable ride-hailing in B.C. for the third time last Fall.
“This report represents exactly how our legislature should work: Members from all parties examining the evidence, engaging with the public and stakeholders and collaborating constructively towards a consensus,” said Weaver.
“The recommendations in this report should provide government with a useful guide towards a regulatory regime that all parties can support. It is essential that B.C.’s regulatory regime include considerations for public safety, workers’ rights, consumer protection and insurance. The government is also undertaking an effort to modernise the taxi industry – this can and should be done concurrently with the introduction of ride-hailing.
“Earlier today, Abacus Data released a poll indicating that 64% of British Columbians support bringing in ride-hailing by the end of this year. Only 9% of British Columbians are opposed. 6 years after ride-hailing companies first attempted to enter the B.C. market, Vancouver remains the largest city in North America without access to this service.
“Government has all the pieces it needs to move forward. There is no reason why B.C. should not have ride-hailing by the end of the year.”-30-
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
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