And he received some surprising support. Mary Griffin reports.
If the BC Green Party had their way, some of the vehicles in downtown Victoria would be driven by Uber drivers. This is the third time Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is introducing ride-sharing legislation. “Our economy is changing, and ride-sharing is but one example of that change. As legislators, we cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore this change.” The bill passes first reading. At this point, the bill is alive, and moving forward. But the government can kill it by stalling it. This time though, might be different. Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite says they want to see ride-sharing in B.C. “The BC Liberals will be supporting anything that brings ride-sharing as soon as possible,” Thornthwaite said. “That’s what we campaigned on. That’s what we support. And that’s what we will be driving.” Political scientist Michael Prince says the Liberals could have introduced ride-sharing while government, but didn’t. Now the party’s playing politics, according to Prince. “We’re seeing a little bit of political mischief, I think, in the legislature with the Liberals supporting this,” Prince said. “Given that Mr. Horgan sort of threw water on it. Or initially, some caution. They needed time to work on this bill.” After three months as government, the NDP just want more time. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena defended the government’s timeline in the legislature. “How many more times do I have to tell the House and to the members opposite that we are bringing in ride-share,” Trevena said. “That we are making, doing consultations and that we will be bringing in legislation for ride-share?” The consultant hired by the province to study ride-sharing is not expected to finish his report next year. It’s up to the government to decide if a bill will makes it to the next stage for second reading, and then onto debate. But much like his first two attempts, Andrew Weaver’s ride-sharing bill is expected to die on the order table.