TransLink Minister Peter Fassbender is the minister in charge of creating workable regulations that would allow Uber to be legal in British Columbia. He admits that Uber is employing various tactics to put pressure on him, and said he will resist falling to the pressure from a media campaign that Uber has engaged in.
In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Fassbender characterized some of Uber’s tactics as “pushy” and “cheeky” while adding that he knows the company is attempting to make him reach a decision faster. The minister has previously said that any new regulations would be fair to both Uber and taxi drivers, a juggling act that no other Canadian municipality has managed to achieve.
Fassbender also said last month that any solution will be unique to British Columbia, suggesting the province will not mirror its regulations off other Canadian cities. Uber has welcome regulations drawn up in Ottawa, Toronto, and Edmonton, but has completely rejected those created in Calgary and left the city entirely.
The company is at the stage of knowing that regulations need to be workable or it will have to leave markets. In B.C. the charm offensive Uber is undertaking suggests the company is more eager to be regulated than to leave the province. The company is holding information sessions in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, and Kelowna, which aim to show locals how ride-sharing works.
Vancouver is the largest city in North America that has withheld Uber, and the company has made it clear it wants to enter the market.
“They’re being very creative on one hand and very aggressive on the other hand to put what they call pressure on the government to move,” Mr. Fassbender said.
“I suspect what they want is the premier’s e-mail box, my e-mail box and perhaps every other MLA in government’s e-mail box full of e-mails saying, ‘Why are you taking so long and why don’t you just get on to it? We think Uber is the greatest thing since the invention of sliced cheese.’ We are not going to knuckle under to however many e-mails we get.”