Ride-sharing app Uber has become a multi-billion-dollar industry without owning any vehicles.

B.C. Liberal delegates back ride sharing

B.C. Liberal Party members say Metro Vancouver is the last major city in North America to keep Uber out

The younger generation of the long-ruling B.C. Liberal Party is leading the call for the provincial government to get moving on allowing Uber and similar ride sharing services.

At the party convention in Vancouver Saturday, 81 per cent of delegates voted yes to move ahead in what one delegate called the last major city in North America to get on board with smart-phone ride sharing.

James Lombardi, the party’s candidate in Vancouver-Point Grey, said the B.C. Liberals should follow Premier Christy Clark’s industrial development advice and “get to yes” on ride sharing.

Peter Fassbender, minister of communities, said the party’s position on ride sharing will be known before the May 2017 election, but he’s not feeling extra pressure to act.

As Transportation Minister Todd Stone and NDP leader John Horgan have agreed, Fassbender said the taxi industry wants to be treated fairly with new technology.

“It reflects what the public is saying, that they want the ability to have better service and more choice,” Fassbender said. “But I think we also heard what I’ve heard in consultations, make sure it’s a level playing field and make sure I’m protected when I get into any vehicle, that they have proper insurance, the driver has had the criminal record checks and the kind of things that I expect as a consumer.”

A North Vancouver delegate said she has had downtown cab drivers pull over and tell her to get out when she asks to go over a bridge to get home. Taxi licence rules prevent Vancouver cabs from picking up another fare to return.

West Vancouver delegate Jack McGee said the government should consider that allowing Uber to operate shifts revenues from local businesses to a multinational company outside Canada, a trend seen in many industries.