VICTORIA B.C. – After tabling the Rideshare Enabling Act twice in the B.C. Legislature, MLA Andrew Weaver is glad to see the provincial government also advancing the issue.
“This government initiative is long overdue and a critical issue for the 21st century economy,” says Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party.
Until today, the B.C. Greens have been the only party advocating for the responsible adoption of ridesharing in B.C., with Weaver introducing his Ridesharing Enabling Act in April 2016 and again in February 2017. Weaver held consultations with stakeholders to create the ridesharing framework bill.
“I have been working on this issue for two years, not out of electoral calculation, but rather as a matter of principle. The principle is - as I have stated repeatedly - that if we are to put innovation at the centre of our new economy, we must embrace the best ideas wherever we find them and improve upon them with made-in-BC expertise,” says Weaver.
“You cannot be considered a leader in technology if you are unwilling to embrace technology already in widespread use.”
Earlier this year, more than 20 local tech CEOs penned a public letter to the B.C. Liberal government articulating the very same reasoning.
“My support for ridesharing lies in the fact that it makes good economic sense. And, hand in hand with that, it is also good environmental policy. Ridesharing, in all its forms, means fewer cars, less dependence on oil and gas, and a much smaller carbon footprint.”
"At the same time, I sympathize with the taxi drivers, many of whom have paid very high prices for their licenses. The government has a duty to ensure that existing industries are adequately consulted, and the announcement from the Taxi Driver's Association suggests they failed to do so."
It is important to note that Weaver and the B.C. Green Party’s support of ridesharing doesn’t indicate support for one specific ridesharing company.
“All companies doing business in B.C. are expected to be good corporate citizens and a B.C. Green government will hold them to a very high standard,” says Weaver. “In the government’s announcement today they said they ‘expect’ companies to behave when they do business in B.C. - that’s not good enough. A Green government would require them to do so.”
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