B.C. looks at regulating Uber, Airbnb

The so-called sharing economy—be it Uber or Airbnb—is firmly on the B.C. government's radar, Peter Fassbender, the minister for community, sport and culture, said Thursday.

Minister warns there will be no quick decisions

Controversial ride-sharing service Uber is one of the busnesses to be looked at as the B.C. government decides whether it needs to regulate the sharing economy. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

The so-called sharing economy—be it Uber or Airbnb—is firmly on the B.C. government's radar, Peter Fassbender, the minister for community, sport and culture, said Thursday.

But before he decides on what regulations—if any—the province may institute, he says he first needs to spend time hearing arguments from all sides affected.

"Before we even articulate what that is, is we want to respect all of the parties by hearing from them and getting their input," Fassbender told CBC News Thursday.

First on his agenda, he said, would be meeting with the taxi industry and local communities to discuss the highly controversial concept of ride-sharing and the economic impact it could bring.

So far, Uber has been barred from operating in B.C., yet other companies such as Airbnb are working without firm rules.

But, Fassbender said people should not expect any quick decisions.

"It's not going to happen in this session," he said. "But the work that we do to lay the groundwork for the future is the important part of it."

He said that the government's responsibility around these new types of businesses is about protection of privacy, quality of services and consumer safety.

With files from Richard Zussman

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.