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

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

Convicted drug trafficker asks Victoria courtroom for chance to ‘turn this around’

Horst Schirmer sentenced for convictions on five counts of possession related to trafficking

$11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

The project has been delayed multiple times and is now estimating a budget of $96 million

French Open at Bear Mountain serves a winner

The US Open is scheduled for Sept. 3 to 8 on the hardcourts at Henderson Park in Oak Bay

Union Club of B.C. votes in its first female president

16-year member Grace Van den Brink previously served as vice president

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

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

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Most Read