Ontario Leaders Seek Regulation in Sharing Economy

Sharing is not only caring, it’s an economic strategy Ontario politicians want to keep tabs on. Uber, airbnb and Toronto’s own Rover allow people to pocket extra cash sharing their cars, homes and parking spaces, causing uproar from hotels and taxi services.

A former leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives unveiled a plan that would enact safety regulations and licensing obligations for specific sectors of the sharing economy.

“This kind of uncertainty we have across the province today doesn’t help anybody,” said Tim Hudak. “We can’t put off this conversation any longer.”

The Opportunity in the Sharing Economy Act intends to create a streamlined process for regulating individuals operating sharing-based operations. For instance, drivers working for ride-sharing companies like Uber would be prohibited from picking up pedestrians hailing for a cab. Drivers and their parent company would need to enact non-discrimination standards, allow feedback and clearly post rates.

Cities would be able to levy demerit points against drivers with repeat offenses and audit ride-sharing companies. Drivers would also need to be at least 21 with a valid license and pass a criminal background check.

People who rent out their parking spaces wouldn’t experience much change. The proposed act would allow them to lease their space all year long, as long as sidewalks and thoroughfares are unobstructed.