Saskatoon Debates Whether Uber Should Operate in the City

Saskatoon City Hall held a debate yesterday whether Uber should operate in the city, as councillors discussed the matter with numerous taxi representatives on hand voicing their displeasure over the ride sharing service, reports CBC News.

Ward 1 Coun. Darren Hill is in favour of Uber and says a decision on whether the service can operate in Saskatoon will be coming soon.

Hill said on Tuesday, “Is Uber perfect? Absolutely not … but neither is any other service provider for any industry,” adding “I’m hoping that administration is going to come back with some discussions on Uber or any other ride-share companies on how we can make it as perfect as possible for our city here in Saskatoon.”

Carlo Triolo, the general manager for United Group, voiced opposition to Uber, noting “They’re currently banned and illegal in more cities and countries than they are legal,” saying “It speaks for itself.”

Hill repeatedly questioned take representatives at the meeting, saying “It’s not unlike a number of the things I’ve heard in other municipalities,” explaining “Technology is changing, the way our citizens use services, is changing. We need to be flexible and adjust with those changes.”

There is no timeline for the Uber debate to be resolved, but timing of any decision could become a fall election issue.

Uber recently exited Alberta after the province mandated Class 4 licenses and police background checks, which the ridesharing company opposed, plus proper insurance—despite being available—was not provincially approved yet. However, Uber is still operating in Sherwood Park, as the company noted taxi bylaws did not apply to them there.