BY RAVI KAHLON
MLA for Delta North & Parliamentary Secretary
Thousands of people and families rely on the taxi industry for their livelihoods
SINCE being sworn in this past summer, my New Democrat colleagues and I have been getting to work to make sure that government works for you and your family. We have been busy both inside and outside of the legislature delivering on our commitments to people in our community. This January, our government called the Standing Committee on Crown Corporations – which hadn’t met since 2008 – to address the issue of ride hailing.
The topic of ride hailing has come up and generated a lot of interest and debate amongst British Columbians. One thing is clear, people in B.C. are looking for more options for getting around quickly, safely and affordably.
Keeping that in mind, we want to ensure that we move forward in the right way. We want to ensure that proper consultation takes place. The past government moved to adopt ride hailing in haste, and little thought was put into the impact that would be felt by the taxi industry. We want to ensure that we have a “made in BC” solution that ensures a level playing field for all service providers and safety for consumers.
Finding this solution is of the utmost importance, because we know that thousands of people and families rely on the taxi industry for their livelihoods. Therefore, proper discussion must take place and recommendations from people impacted by ride hailing heard to ensure that we develop policy that creates opportunities for everyone.
For three days at the beginning of January, the all-party legislative committee sat down to achieve that goal. Amongst a diverse group of people, we heard from people representing a number of interests, including provincial government regulators, police, researchers, ride-hailing companies, transit authorities, municipal governments, and taxi associations.
We have heard what everyone has had to say, and are now using what we discussed in committee meetings to compile a report with recommendations on ride hailing. We look forward to sharing our findings with you in mid-February. We also look forward to the report compiled by Dan Hara from his review of the taxi industry, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
We will bring forward policies that ensure British Columbians have access to quick, safe and affordable modes of transportation, while ensuring that there is a level playing field for everyone to make a living for themselves and their family.