BC Conservatives Say Ridesharing Legislation Misses the Mark
VERNON-The British Columbia Conservative Party originally called for private for-profit ridesharing legislation in October of 2017, along with legislation for other 21st century technological advances.
"Ridesharing legislation is long overdue in BC," said Interim party leader Scott Anderson. "While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, BC is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that's been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions. This is really unacceptable."
B.C. NDP Transportation Minister Claire Trevena claimed that because ICBC was "left with problems," no insurance product will be available until late 2019. Further, the proposed legislation also boosts the power of the cabinet-appointed Passenger Transportation Board to determine the operating areas and numbers of taxis and ride-hailing vehicles, and tightly regulates a number of areas surrounding the business.
"The NDP is blaming problems that have nothing to do with ridesharing on its unwillingness to act," said Anderson. "When ICBC wanted to give its executives big bonuses it managed to act in the blink of an eye, so it seems to me that it should be possible to adopt and customize tried and true legislation from other jurisdictions in under a year."
"The reality is that it's trying to please everyone and in the process is pleasing no one," said Anderson. "Trying to regulate ridesharing as if it is just another form of taxi simply won't work. For example, requiring Class 4 licenses defeats the whole purpose of what is supposed to be a part time job. If passenger safety is the object, current ridesharing companies already require criminal background and driving history checks. Let the free market decide the pricing, the territories, and the requirements."
BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson claims the NDP is too tightly regulating ridesharing, and bemoans the fact that there won't be any ridesharing in BC by this Christmas.
"It's wonderful that Mr. Wilkinson wants less regulation and more speed for ridesharing legislation, and it would be great if ridesharing were here for Christmas 2018," said Anderson. "But why wasn't it here for the past 16 years of Christmases when the Liberals controlled the agenda? This is the epitome of the sort of hypocrisy that's become stock in trade for the zero-credibility Liberals."
The BC Conservatives support the adoption of ridesharing legislation that leaves the future of ridesharing and the taxi industry to the free market as much as reasonably possible.