Michael van Hemmen, head of Western Canada for Uber, addresses the media during a news conference in Vancouver B.C, Wednesday, January, 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Premier says Surrey mayor is ‘destabilizing’ ride-hailing industry

John Horgan says the Surrey mayor should listen to residents who want competition in Uber and Lyft

Premier John Horgan accused Surrey’s mayor on Wednesday of putting up unnecessary roadblocks in his city as ride-hailing in Metro Vancouver gets off to a contentious start.

Horgan, who faced intense pressure last year to speed up the ride-hailing approval process, said competition brings challenges but the government developed a regulatory framework to ensure a level playing field.

“When new competition comes in, you want to make sure you’re protecting the existing industry, but not protecting it from competition,” the premier said at a news conference in Prince George. “This is a free market economy. People understand that.”

He said the independent Passenger Transportation Board balanced the interests of the public and taxi industry before approving licences last week to Uber and Lyft.

“The way forward for Surrey and for Mr. [Doug] McCallum is to listen to the citizens in his community who want to see competition, not to destabilize and put people out of business but to provide a range of options for the travelling public.”

McCallum has said he will not support ride-hailing until he is convinced a fair playing field is established. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Uber has filed an injunction application in B.C. Supreme Court to prevent Surrey from issuing fines to its drivers.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said she preferred not to comment on a matter that is before the courts, but the government spent two years developing legislation and regulations in advance of ride-hailing licences being approved by the independent board.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ride hailingUber

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Junior Paddling program launches again soon

Looking for local recruits from ages 13 to 18

TRAFFIC: VIDEO: Truck crash halts Highway 1 traffic in Langley

Left lane blocked after truck crashes into median by 264th Street

Carnival will showcase Hope’s figure skating talents

Skating Through the Decades at Hope Arena on March 7

SLIDESHOW: Hope dresses in pink for anti-bullying day

Businesses, organizations and schools all join in Pink Shirt Day awareness

Take a run out to the corner store when Kim’s Convenience comes to Chilliwack

The play that inspired the hit television show is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Dragon boating changes lives for Spirit Abreast paddlers

The Cultus Lake based team is looking to fill a boat with breast cancer survivors and supporters.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Most Read