Skip to main content

Former Ontario Progressive Conservative party leader Tim Hudak on May 29, 2014. Hudak wants to put an end to what he calls 'guerilla warfare' in some cities over Uber.

Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail

Former Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak says the Uber ride-hailing service should be legal across Ontario, and the province should embrace the new sharing economy enabled by technology.

Hudak says clear, consistent, provincewide rules would encourage more app-based businesses to set up in Ontario, and would put an end to the "guerilla warfare" in some cities over Uber and its impact on local taxi services.

"The province needs to take the lead as opposed to leaving it to municipalities," he said. "Send a signal that we're an economy that is open for innovators, for new ideas, and would take a leading role in supporting technology."

Story continues below advertisement

Hudak's private member's bill would also give a green light to new companies like AirBnB and Rover with apps that let people share their homes or parking spots. The apps help some people save money and others earn some extra cash, added Hudak.

"A million riders a month can't be wrong," he said. "Uber's obviously doing something right, and I think we have to allow that to happen rather than stand in the way."

Premier Kathleen Wynne said Ontario "absolutely" has to grow the new technology-enabled sharing economy.

"It's certainly something that we have to talk about," she said. "We can't pretend that the sharing economy isn't going to exist. We have to figure out a way to interact with it and do it in a way that protects consumers."

Under Hudak's bill, municipalities would not be able to ban Uber.

"There's still municipal licensing, but there's a new category called the Transportation Networking Company, and there's consumer protection initiatives and public safety in there," he said.

Esther Nerling, who is semi-retired, is driving for Uber in Toronto to help raise money to pay for her daughter's university education in Sweden.

Story continues below advertisement

"Uber gave me the ability to earn money at my own pace, on my own schedule, and as much as I needed or as much as I want, and I've had an absolute blast," said Nerling. "Every week I know I can drive to the tune of making $500 or $1,000, and it's just freed up my life and my time."

The new Rover app designed to let Toronto homeowners offer up their parking spot for $2 an hour could help ease traffic gridlock, predicted Hudak.

"They say that 30 per cent of congestion is often people who are just going around looking for a parking spot," he said. "So if we send a signal that we are open to new businesses and new ideas, we'll see companies like Rover come here and grow."

Chase Winters said his parking space at his central Toronto home, right on the Yonge subway line, was sitting empty all day until he joined Rover.

"I signed up on a Wednesday night and sitting at work Thursday an email comes through saying there's a Chevy Cruze parked in my driveway," said Winters. "It's been a really great experience, and just kind of money from doing nothing."

Private member's bills rarely become law in Ontario, but Hudak said he's working with municipalities and the Liberal government to help get his legislation passed.

Story continues below advertisement

"My goal here really is to spark a debate," he said. "I think it's important that we take advantage of the sharing economy for the benefits it brings for average people for their rainy day fund."

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies