The provincial government of Saskatchewan has said it will not support Uber and other ride-sharing companies, telling the City of Saskatoon that it won’t amend bylaws or create new regulations to accommodate the companies. That scuppers any plans the city may have had of adopting the UberX service legally.
Uber has faced similar problems around Canada, but many cities and provinces have said they are willing to work with the company. However, for the most part either municipal regulations have been geared to make life tricky for Uber, or the company itself has pulled the plug, as happened in Calgary last month.
Saskatchewan is the latest to block Uber’s expansion, with the city’s transportation committee holding a meeting that sought to work through a report from the city solicitor. The local taxi and limousine industries were represented and presented their cases for why Uber should not be allowed into the province, citing unfair competition.
The traditional services did not have to press much as all parties were in agreement and found Uber to be a predatory enterprise. Harsh indeed, but the province sees the U.S. company as bringing an undercutting business model into the area, while also flying in the face of current regulations.
Committee chairman Randy Donauer said that the existing taxi bylaw will continue to be in place, which means any Uber driver would have to meet the same stipulations as a taxi driver.
Edmonton legalized Uber this month, placing the company much closer to traditional taxi services by requiring drivers hold Class 4 licenses, have criminal checks, and acquire sufficient commercial based auto insurance.
Ironically, while it agreed to these stipulations, Uber was forced to leave Edmonton as it could not secure the auto insurance policy in time, with Alberta saying the company will have to wait until the summer.
In Saskatchewan it has not even gone that far.