Canadian provinces are increasingly turning their attention to Uber, with British Columbia the latest to voice its interest in the ridesharing company. Peter Fassbender, the minister for community, sport and culture in B.C. said on Thursday that the government is looking into the ridesharing economy, which includes companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.
That opened the door to such companies being regulated in the province, something that has been hard to achieve in other Canadian regions. Fassbender said he would need to listen to arguments from all sides before deciding what B.C. will do in the future.
“Before we even articulate what that is, is we want to respect all of the parties by hearing from them and getting their input,” Fassbender told CBC News Thursday.
Taxi unions have been the most common opposition to the UberX ridesharing service, seeing the company as an illegal competitor that endangers the traditional taxi industry. Fassbender said he will meet with taxi industry representatives, but he is unlikely to find much support for Uber, even if the company is to be regulated in B.C.
British Columbia has so far been successful in keeping Uber out of the province, something that has proved more difficult for other municipalities around the country. However, Fassbender said if B.C. decides to regulate sharing companies properly, it is unlikely to happen any time soon.
“It’s not going to happen in this session,” he said. “But the work that we do to lay the groundwork for the future is the important part of it.”
Uber has recently been legalized in Edmonton if the company can adhere to several stipulations put in place by the city. The vote has been widely welcomed and is now an example of how Canadian cities can adopt Uber, although other cities are struggling to follow Edmonton’s lead.