Premier Christy Clark says the government is asking people about Uber.
Clark says her minister responsible for TransLink, Peter Fassbender, is beginning consultations on the ride-sharing company.
“We’ve got a bit of a path ahead of us, I think, ’cause it’s brand new to government and we haven’t had a way to regulate it in B.C. in the past and we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to do that.”
While Clark says Fassbender will be holding discussions at a “granular level,” it’s not clear what form that consultation will take – or whether the province has plans to take the question to the public as it did with its Liquor Policy Review and distracted driving penalties.
READ MORE: Stone says he didn’t flip-flop on Uber
Last week Transportation Minister Todd Stone said he’s been talking with stakeholders, including the taxi industry about Uber, and that its arrival was a matter of “when, not if.”
Clark says Uber has become a campaign issue in the upcoming byelection in the riding of Coquitlam/Burke Mountain.
“[Liberal candidate Joan Isaacs] is running on the promise that she’s going to fight for the sharing economy very broadly. It’s not just about Uber and Lyft, all of that sharing economy is catching up with us and it needs to be regulated.”
In the past, while the provincial government has said it is concerned about safety issues, including training for Uber drivers and questions about insurance.
Uber has already launched several Canadian cities, including Toronto and Calgary, sparking battles with municipal governments and protests from the local taxi industries.