Connect with us

Business

Surrey mayor tells Uber drivers: We will fine you

Published

 on

Mayor Doug McCallum defended the decision to fight ride-hailing, saying the city has a right to enforce its bylaws.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said bylaw officers will be stepping up enforcement against ride-hailing drivers picking up passengers in his city, pitting him against provincial regulations, Uber and some members of his own council.

McCallum told reporters that bylaw officers hailed rides through the Uber app and gave 18 warning notices to drivers on the weekend because the company does not have a business licence. Uber, the company, was issued two $500 tickets — one for each day.

He said that the grace period is over and drivers will be fined if they are caught picking up passengers in Surrey. Daily fines will also continue to be levied against Uber.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

McCallum said Monday that he supports ride-hailing, but it’s a service he doesn’t want in Surrey until there is parity between the rules governing ride-hailing and taxi companies. He defended the city’s right to enforce its bylaws how it sees fit.

“Ride-hailing, in a regulated industry, has a very unfair advantage. Government has a role to play and I would argue has a responsibility to ensure there is fair competition between the taxi service industry and the ride-hailing components,” McCallum told reporters.

The city has not developed a business licence specific to ride-hailing, like the ones in Vancouver, Burnaby, Delta, Richmond and the Tri-Cities.

According to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation, a municipality can set requirements for business licences for ride-hail operators, but doesn’t have the authority to block the operation of ride-hailing services.

“The absence of a bylaw or business licence in specific municipalities related to ride-hailing is not grounds for refusal of the service,” the ministry said in an emailed statement. The ministry did not say what would happen if a municipality did stand in the way of ride-hailing companies operating in their jurisdiction.

McCallum said Uber is welcome to apply for a business licence like the one that taxi companies must obtain. Taxi companies pay $161.75 a year for a Surrey business licence, plus $441.50 for each taxi. He did not say how long it would take to get such a licence.

McCallum said when it comes to the city developing its own business licence, they need to wait and see what happens regionally. He said council has not had the opportunity to talk about ride-hailing because they had no notice that operating licences would be issued.

At least three councillors, none of whom are part of McCallum’s majority Safe Surrey Coalition, disagreed with the city’s tactic.

Coun. Brenda Locke said she was “blindsided” by what happened over the weekend.

“I think it’s appalling and not in keeping with the spirit of whatever this legislation is going to be moving forward by the province,” Locke said. “I don’t know why Surrey would choose to be so aggressive about it at this time. We know we’re moving into a ride-sharing world and that’s a good thing for Surrey.”

Locke has asked city staff if a legal opinion was sought before bylaw staff took action against Uber, but has not received a response.

Two Vancouver lawyers agreed that the bylaw officers’ actions in this case don’t constitute entrapment, unless maybe the driver was summoned from another municipality. Dean Davison, whose firm specializes in municipal law, said the city is breaching a section of the Community Charter that states a provision of a municipal bylaw has no effect if it is inconsistent with a provincial enactment.

Coun. Jack Hundial took an Uber on Saturday from his home in Newton to city hall. He said warning or ticketing drivers will discourage them from working in the city, which is bad for those trying to earn a buck and for residents who want to use the service.

Hundial said council was supposed to receive a report about ride-hailing last fall, but the issue has not been raised with council since.

“We’ve yet to see it. This hasn’t really come before council as a discussion point yet,” said Hundial.

Coun. Linda Annis called on the mayor and city staff to ensure ride-hailing is available in the city.

“We’ve all waited long enough, it’s time to get on with it,” Annis said in a news release. “The monopoly of the tax owners is over and Surrey residents should have the same access to Uber and Lyft as Vancouverites. I want assurances from the mayor and our city staff that there will be no more obstacles and that our residents can access this new transportation option immediately. I’m hoping the mayor will stand up for 550,000 Surrey residents, rather than a handful of taxi company owners who have had a monopoly for decades.”

Annis and others support a regional ride-hailing business licence, which is being developed by TransLink at the behest of the Mayors’ Council. It’s expected to be drafted within the next week, at which time it will go to Metro Vancouver municipal councils for consideration. Participation in the regional licence will be voluntary.

McCallum voted against such a licence, although he seemed to go back on that position on Monday and claimed he is involved in coming up with a regional model.

According to Michael van Hemmen, Uber’s head of Western Canada, the company and its drivers have the required approvals from the province and the Passenger Transportation Board to operate in Metro Vancouver.

“We do not believe there is any legal basis for drivers to be fined by the City of Surrey,” he said in an emailed statement.

The company did not say, when asked, who would be responsible for paying — the company or the driver — if a fine was levied.

Source link

Business

Key inflation measure shows price pressures cooled off in November, but remain high – CNN

Published

 on



New York
CNN
 — 

Another key inflation measure shows price pressures cooled off but remained stubbornly high in November, despite the Federal Reserve’s monthslong efforts to fight inflation through higher interest rates.

The Producer Price Index, which measures prices paid for goods and services by businesses before they reach consumers, rose 7.4% in November compared to a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. That’s down from the revised 8.1% gain reported for October.

US stocks fell immediately after the report, as economists surveyed by Refinitiv had expected wholesales prices to have risen just 7.2%, annually. The higher-than-expected inflation readings raised concerns about whether the Fed will be able to slow the pace of rate hikes.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

But futures for the Fed funds rate still show a strong likelihood of a half-point increase at the central bank’s policymaking meeting next week, rather than the three-quarter point hike instituted at the last four meetings.

The PPI report generally gets less attention that the corresponding Consumer Price Index, which measures prices paid by US consumers for goods and services. But this is a rare month in which the PPI report came out before the CPI report, which is due out Tuesday.

That and the Fed meeting scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday next week is making this inflation report of particular importance to investors.

“Next Tuesday’s CPI release will be more important than today’s data, but with traders on edge, any indication that prices remain elevated and that inflation is more sticky than currently believed is a negative for markets,” said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.

Overall prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% compared to October — the same monthly increase as was reported in both September and October — but were slightly higher than the 0.2% rise forecast by economists.

Stripping out volatile food and energy prices, core PPI rose 6.2% for the year ending in November, down from the revised 6.8% increase the previous month. Economists had forecast only a 5.9% increase.

Core PPI posted a 0.4% increase from October, a far bigger rise than the revised 0.1% month-over-month rise in that previous month, and twice as big as the 0.2% rise forecast by economists.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Keystone pipeline temporarily closed following Kansas oil spill

Published

 on

The energy company in charge of the pipeline has not said what caused the spill or how much oil was released.

The Keystone pipeline has halted operations following an oil spill into a creek in the United States state of Kansas. The pipeline carries more than 600,000 barrels of oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast each day.

Canada-based TC Energy said in a press release that it shut down the pipeline on Wednesday night in response to a drop in pipeline pressure. The company has yet to offer information on the scale and cause of the spill.

“The system remains shut down as our crews actively respond and work to contain and recover the oil,” the release said.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

The spill resulted in oil leaking into a creek in northeastern Kansas and the company has said they were using machinery to prevent the oil from moving further downstream. Pipelines have long spurred concerns about the destructive potential of oil spills.

Another pipeline previously proposed by TC, the Keystone XL pipeline, would have been 1,930 kilometres (1,200 miles) long and cut across US states such as Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

That proposal spurred strong opposition from advocates who said it would increase the chance of spills, undermine the rights of Indigenous communities and worsen climate change.

Former President Donald Trump approved a permit for the contentious project in 2017 but a court halted construction in 2018 before the permit was cancelled by President Joe Biden’s administration last year.

TC finally abandoned the effort in June 2021 but has since filed a claim seeking remuneration for losses it says it faced because of the cancellation.

The spill on Wednesday occurred several years after the Keystone pipeline leaked about 1.4m litres (383,000 gallons) of oil in eastern North Dakota in 2019.

As word of the shutdown spread on Wednesday, oil prices ticked upwards by about five percent.

“It’s something to keep an eye on, but not necessarily an immediate impact for now,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, which tracks gasoline prices, according to the Associated Press. “It could eventually impact oil supplies to refiners, which could be severe if it lasts more than a few days.”

In their statement, Keystone said their primary focus was the “health and safety of onsite staff and personnel, the surrounding community, and mitigating risk to the environment through the deployment of booms downstream as we work to contain and prevent further migration of the release”.

Previous Keystone spills have resulted in stoppages that lasted up to two weeks. However, analysts have noted that the current stoppage could possibly last longer because it involves a body of water.

Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Bank of Canada policy will ‘hit home’ in 2023: David Rosenberg

Published

 on

The Bank of Canada may be signalling a possible end to its months-long aggressive interest-rate hike cycle, but economist David Rosenberg said next year will see the lagging impact of 2022’s monetary policy “hit home” for Canadians.

“Next year is the payback,” Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Rosenberg Research and Associates Inc., said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg.

“2022 was the year of the sharp run-up in rates, 2023 will be the year where the policy lags from those rising rates hit home.”

He made the comments Thursday, a day after the Bank of Canada raised its overnight lending rate by 50 basis points to 4.25 per cent, as the central bank continued with its approach to bringing down inflation.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Rosenberg predicted a “severe recession” for Canada next year based on the rate hike cycle, calling for a “triple whammy” with economic impacts compounded by high levels of household debt, a housing bubble and ripples in the global economy.

Possible spillover effects from the interest rate cycle could be felt, Rosenberg said, as banks may constrain the availability of credit and spending drops across various sectors.

Based on the latest rate increase, Rosenberg said he predicts at potentially one more rate hike from the bank before a pause. Once inflation starts to come down, Rosenberg said he thinks the central bank may start to cut rates, possibly in the second half of 2023.

“The next stage is going to be waiting for the inflation to come down, which I think it will, and the recession is going to catch a lot of people by surprise,” he said.

A similar pattern may play out in the U.S., but Rosenberg said Canadians are more exposed to higher interest rates through variable-rate mortgages and because more consumer credit is tied to short-term interest rates.

“As bad as it’s going to be in the U.S., and believe me, it’s not going to be a pretty picture there, I think the Canadian situation in the next year is going to be clouded at best,” he said.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending