North Delta MLA Ravi Kahlon (Hansard TV)

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.

BC legislatureride hailing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

Police say missing man Daniel Fortin, 55, is high-risk. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Daniel Fortin, 55, last seen in Victoria March 1

Anyone who sees Fortin asked to call 911

Walkers ascend Mount Douglas Park on Sunday, Feb. 7. Visits to Saanich Parks are up 46 per cent compared to pre-pandemic statistics this time last year. (Darrell Wick Photo)
Oak Bay, Saanich parks peak in popularity during pandemic

Oak Bay spent an extra $5,000 on park toilet paper in 2020

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Vancouver Island RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

Backcountry skiers are dwarfed by the mountains as they make their way along a mountain ridge near McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to people who use the backcountry in the mountains of western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Avalanche Canada special warning for mountains in western Alberta, eastern B.C.

Avalanche Canada also says everyone in a backcountry party needs essential rescue gear

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

Most Read