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

FILOMI Days sees massive crowd arrive in town to enjoy weekend festivities

The North Island Gazette was at just about every event this weekend.

Rumble on the Runway returns to Port McNeill Airport

In fact, the event is so popular that officials say it is usually sold out months in advance.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Fireweed in full bloom

“This year is shaping up to be a good year for fireweed.”

Tahsis Inlet voted BC’S top boating destination for 2019

Tahsis Inlet is located midway up the west coast of Vancouver Island

Oceanfront RV campground in Port Alice is open for business

Anstee plans to have other amenities besides camping, “but for now, this is it.”

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Vancouver Island man wanted after walking away from halfway house in Victoria

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

Most Read