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 McCallum 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

Wally Oppal says policing ‘too important’ to be left to the police

Oppal keynote speaker at a Surrey Board of Trade “Hot Topic Dialogue” breakfast event this morning

Flip-flopping pleas in Surrey man’s 2018 murder in West Kelowna

Following an shocking guilty plea on Feb. 25, Tejwant Danjou applied to retract that plea on Feb. 26

Surrey skater speeds his way to four golds, a silver at BC Winter Games

‘I just really enjoy going fast on the ice,’ says Barnett Liu, 14

‘Urgent’ need for Metro Vancouver homeless count volunteers

Organizers say another 100 people are sought to help in Surrey and Burnaby

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say missing 14-year-old has been found and is safe

Brayden Ritchat, 14, had been last seen in the 10800-block of 141st Street in Whalley on Feb. 21

Rail disruptions expected to continue after new protest sites emerge

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also lead police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

New Westminster woman’s ‘out of character’ disappearance probed by police

She left without telling anyone, prompting investigation by Major Crimes Unit, police say

EDITORIAL: Fraser Health needs to be transparent to fight coronavirus panic

Fraser Health and other authorities are not helping by being vague in recent communications

Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart rescues puppy from Langley shelter

American actress named her adopted pup Milo

How clean is your favourite local restaurant or café?

Online inspection reports allow consumers to find health hazard of all food facilities in region

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

COLUMN: Forestry no longer close to top of B.C.’s economy

Our reactions to a forestry downturn reflect the past, not the present

Caught on camera: Police release video of man who allegedly stole seaplane in Vancouver

Police say the man broke into the Harbour Air terminal and then got into one of the seaplanes in the harbour

Most Read