Stephanie Cadieux. Photo: Ray Hudson

Victoria: The all-party committee tasked with examining ridesharing in British Columbia released a report today with recommendations that need to be accepted by the NDP in order for ridesharing to come to the province.

“The NDP introduced a supposed ridesharing framework that blocks major companies like Uber and Lyft from entering the market – and when our caucus suggested changes to make this framework workable, we were ignored by both the government and the Greens,” says Stephanie Cadieux, deputy chair of the committee and MLA for Surrey South. “Now several months later, the all-party committee has made the same suggestions. The NDP needs to put ideology aside and implement these recommendations to finally bring real ridesharing to B.C.”

“No other jurisdiction has blocked ridesharing the way the NDP has in British Columbia,” says Jordan Sturdy, BC Liberal Transportation Critic and MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky. “I introduced two pieces of legislation in the past year to bring ridesharing to B.C. right now, and the NDP flat-out tossed them out the window without a second glance. Fast forward to today, and this committee has now reached the same conclusions as our legislation. If that’s not the Minister playing politics, I don’t know what is.”

Committee members were not asked to consider how to integrate ridesharing with the current taxi industry. It appears that the NDP has made up its mind that simply repackaging the current taxi industry into an app constitutes ridesharing.

“Instead of facilitating real ridesharing, the NDP integrated a ridesharing service into the taxi industry – without so much as consulting the committee studying the issue,” says committee member Peter Milobar, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson. “The only way we will see true ridesharing in this province is by implementing the committee’s recommendations.”

“The recommendations in this report would finally bring B.C. into the modern transportation era,” says committee member Jas Johal, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “For nearly two years the government has done nothing but make excuses as to why it won’t bring in ridesharing, but British Columbians know the real reason why – pure politics with little regard to what our province wants and needs in terms of ridesharing.”