You have to pity transportation minister Claire Trevena.
Not only was she forced to announce yet another delay of ride-sharing in British Columbia, she was also singled out by the press gallery for delivering the most confusing news conference ever.
Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer tweeted out: “NDP communications shop could use it as a how-not-to-do-it training film for cabinet ministers.”
In all fairness, Trevena was given the task of putting lipstick on a pig.
The NDP made an election promise of bringing in ride-sharing to B.C. by the end of 2017.
Once in office though, Trevena backtracked and then announced ride-sharing required further study — despite having all the preliminary work done already by the previous government. Trevena declared she wanted to get the job done right, promising that Uber and Lyft would be operating in B.C. by the end of 2018, this time for sure.
So it came as a bit of a surprise when Trevena held a news conference last week saying the earliest ride-sharing would come to our province would by late 2019, if at all.
This leaves British Columbia as one of the few jurisdictions in North America without ride sharing.
Instead, Trevena is proposing hundreds of more taxi licenses in the meantime.
It makes you wonder if the government is really serious at all. What happens to all these new taxi drivers when they suddenly face stiff competition from Uber or Lyft?
At a time when Greyhound is pulling out passenger service in all of western Canada, this transportation minister needs to get her act together and fast.
We are facing fewer and fewer transportation options in northern and rural British Columbia. Ride-sharing could be a big part of the solution.
Unfortunately, transportation minister Claire Trevena is far more concerned with protecting the taxi industry in the lower mainland than she is with making real progress in northern communities.
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett