North Delta MLA Ravi Kahlon (Hansard TV)

B.C. MLA should step down from ride hailing committee, opposition says

Ravi Kahlon says his father’s taxi licence in Victoria isn’t a conflict

North Delta MLA Ravi Kahlon is refusing calls from the B.C. Liberal opposition to step down from the B.C. legislature committee dealing with ride hailing services, because Kahlon’s father owns a taxi in Victoria.

Kahlon confirmed Wednesday that his father, Navroop Singh Kahlon, is a long-time taxi operator with Bluebird Cabs in Victoria. Taxi licences outside Metro Vancouver do not have the six-figure values that have emerged in recent years with the scarcity created by B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Branch, and members of the committee don’t have the final say in what happens, the North Delta MLA said, adding that his father is semi-retired from the taxi business.

B.C. Liberal MLAs Jas Johal and Peter Milobar said the relationship, which other committee members didn’t know about, is inappropriate as the committee develops recommendations on how the taxis will fit in to the new regime of ride hailing. The relationship “doesn’t pass the smell test,” Johal said.

RELATED: B.C. adds hundreds of taxi licences, delays Uber and Lyft

The B.C. NDP government has indicated that the Passenger Transportation Board will determine the number of cars that can be licensed to drive for Uber, Lyft and similar ride-hailing services in each community when it begins to take applications later this year.

Johal argues that capping ride hailing services and imposing a requirement for drivers to get a Class 4 commercial driver’s licence is a recipe to ensure that “ride hailing fails.”

Opposition critics said the NDP government has stalled the adoption of ride hailing, already in place in every major city across North America except in B.C. They focused on the development of a smartphone-based app for B.C. taxi companies called Kater, which presented its plan to the MLA committee in January. Kater plans to launch this spring to get a jump on the competition.

RELATED: B.C. taxi app gets set to launch before ride-hailing

The B.C. NDP government delayed its election promise to enable competition for taxi companies, and Transportation Minister Claire Trevena then announced B.C. was adding another 500 taxi licences first.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Canada Women’s Rugby 7s Team land at home after series triumph

Next stop at Langford offers Olympic qualification

Saanich soccer player survives bout with flesh eating disease

Harinder Sandhu picked up the disease after soccer game

Two-sailing waits continue Victoria to Tsawwassen

Backlog continues despite extra sailings over Easter

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 straws each year

Most Read