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Vancouver's long and winding road to ride-hailing –



It took less than 24 hours for ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft to get up and running after B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board approved their operation in the Lower Mainland and Whistler this week. 

But the nearly eight-year journey that preceded those first few rides in the city? Anything but swift. 

And even though Metro Vancouverites can hail a ride through the tap of an app, the rest of the province is still waiting for their opportunity. 

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Here’s what it took for ride-hailing to arrive in the city:

Summer 2012: Uber soft launches — unofficially — in Vancouver

Uber operated unofficially in Vancouver in the summer of 2012. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

While Uber, a San-Francisco based ride-hailing company, launches in Toronto in March, it also has an unofficial soft-launch in Vancouver during the summer.

Nov. 28, 2012: Uber withdraws from Vancouver

After operating unofficially for six months, Uber withdraws from Vancouver after the Passenger Transportation Board imposes a minimum fare of $75 per trip.

September 2014: Social media abuzz with rumours of Uber’s return

Uber begins tweeting its intention to return to Vancouver and puts ads on Facebook to recruit drivers.

Nov. 3, 2014: Province announces undercover checks to combat Uber

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone vows to run stings against Uber drivers should the alternate-taxi service try to set up shop in B.C. 2:17

Amid the rumours Uber is coming, Transportation Minister Todd Stone says plainclothes transit agents posing as potential customers will be deployed to ensure taxis and their drivers are operating by B.C.’s rules, which are enforced to ensure passenger safety.

Nov. 5, 2014Vancouver taxi companies sue Uber

Vancouver’s taxi industry fires a pre-emptive strike against Uber, alleging in a lawsuit that the U.S.-based company is preparing to launch with unlicensed drivers in an attempt to illegally undercut traditional cabs. Uber responds by calling the taxi industry a “cartel.” They drop the lawsuit in March 2015.

Oct. 30, 2015Vancouver council says no to new taxi licences, Uber

A woman approaches a taxi in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood on Dec. 31, 2019. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Michael Van Hemmen, public policy manager for Uber Canada, makes an informal pitch for ride hailing to Vancouver city council. Even though they agree the city is short on cabs — especially during peak hours, council votes to not open the streets up to more competition.

Feb. 16, 2016: Uber CEO slams regulations at Vancouver TED talk

In 2016, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick takes on his familiar foe at TED: regulations, which he claims are standing in the way of cutting pollution and traffic woes. (Bret Hartman/TED)

“Old rules need to bend,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick reportedly tells an audience, making the pitch that Uber could create jobs and help cut traffic and pollution.

April 25, 2016B.C. Green Party introduces ride-hailing legislation

The B.C. Green Party introduces legislation to “start a conversation” about bringing ride-hailing companies to British Columbia. The bill, introduced by Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, would require ride-hailing drivers to get a background check. This is the first of three attempts the Green Party makes to introduce ride-hailing legislation.

Oct. 19, 2016: Vancouver council bans Uber for another year

City council votes in favour of extending a moratorium on issuing new taxi licences for another year. This means there will be no new taxis on Vancouver streets until at least October 2017, and that Uber cabs will be unable to break into B.C.’s taxi market.

March 7, 2017: Liberals promise Uber if they win the election

Uber and other ride-hailing companies will be available by December, announces B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone, contingent on the B.C. Liberal party winning the 2017 provincial election. Taxi advocates plan to challenge the decision.

May 9, 2017: B.C. general election topples government

British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan gives the thumbs up to the crowd at his election night speech during British Columbia’s provincial election in Vancouver on May 10, 2017. (Nick Didlick/Reuters)

No single party wins the majority of seats, but the Greens say they will provide confidence to an NDP minority government. NDP leader John Horgan becomes premier, succeeding B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark. The future of ride-hailing is unclear.

Sept. 27, 2017: New transportation minister mum on ride-hailing timeline

B.C.’s new transportation minister, Claire Trevena, says ride-hailing legislation won’t be coming from the government anytime soon in response to a question put to her during the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference.

“It’s too complicated. The previous government [wanted] it by the end of the year. I don’t want to do that,” Trevena says.

Aug. 25, 2017: Uber creates an accidental ice cream debacle

The online app promises to deliver free Earnest ice-cream and Uber promotional items to anybody in Vancouver who downloads the app and requests ice cream between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. PT Aug. 25. 

But instead of a sweet treat, many users are met with an “Ice Cream Unavailable” message. Social media users rage.

Nov. 13, 2017: Lyft arrives in Canada

An advertisement for ride sharing app Lyft is pictured in Vancouver on Jan. 23, 2020. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Uber’s biggest rival, San Francisco-based Lyft eyes the Toronto market, it’s first move outside of the U.S., where it operates in 300 cities. 

Nov. 23, 2017: Provincial committee created to investigate ride-hailing

Andrew Weaver, B.C. Green Party leader, has been a strong proponent of ride-hailing in the province. His party introduced legislation to support the practice three times. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, announces that a select standing committee made up of MLAs from all three parties will investigate ride-hailing for the province and produce a report by February 2018 that will inform future legislation allowing the service.

Feb. 7, 2018: B.C. organizations create ride-hailing lobby

Nine organizations in British Columbia join forces to advocate for ride-hailing services in the province as soon as possible. The group is called Ridesharing Now for B.C.

Feb. 15, 2018: Government committee report: ‘Yes!’ to ride-hailing

The all-party MLA committee completes its report, which supports a plan for ride-hailing services throughout the province.

June 22, 2018: ‘There really isn’t a delay’

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says the introduction of ride-hailing is running on schedule, despite claims from critics to the contrary.

Nov. 19, 2018: Ride-hailing legislation (finally) passes

Legislation supporting ride-hailing in B.C. finally passed in 2018. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

The B.C. government introduces legislation to allow ride-hailing in the province by sometime in 2019. The proposed changes include amendments to eight provincial statutes. It passes.

July 8, 2019: Regulations for drivers, companies revealed

The province reveals regulations for ride-hailing, including Class 4 licences for drivers, and ride-hailing companies paying a $5,000 annual fee to operate.

Sept. 4, 2019: Vancouver taxis go back to court

The taxi industry has fought a long battle with ride-hailing apps. (Reuters)

A group of Vancouver-based taxi companies asks the Supreme Court of B.C. to quash rules recently introduced by the Passenger Transportation Board that would allow ride-hailing to begin legally operating in B.C.

Premier John Horgan dismisses their claims.

Jan. 23, 2020: Uber, Lyft approved for Lower Mainland, Whistler

Vancouver celebrity chef Vikram Vij takes the first Lyft ride in Vancouver on Friday, Jan. 24. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft are approved to operate in the Lower Mainland, including Metro Vancouver. Less than 24 hours later, drivers hit the streets.

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Stock market news live updates: Stocks close higher, S&P 500 snaps 5-day losing streak – Yahoo Canada Finance



U.S. stocks rose Thursday, stymieing this week’s rout across equities from stretching into another day after rate jitters and recession chatter hampered a seasonally bullish period for Wall Street.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) climbed 0.8% after five straight days of losses, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) bounced 180 points, or also about 0.5%. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) advanced 1.1% after the index had its worst first week of December since 1975, per data from Bespoke Investment Group.

In other markets, U.S. Treasuries held steady after the 10-year yield slid below 3.5% to a nearly three-month low. Oil fell, with the commodity plunging more than 10% this week to trade near year-ago levels. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures closed around $72 per barrel.

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Meanwhile, filings for unemployment insurance rose slightly last week. Initial jobless claims, the most timely snapshot of the labor market, came in at 230,000 for the week ended Dec. 3, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

On the corporate side, GameStop (GME) shares rose 11%, even as the meme stock favorite reported worse-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Shares of Rent the Runway (RENT) surged 74% after the company raised its full-year revenue forecast and reported results that beat Wall Street estimates. CEO Jennifer Hyman also said the company’s restructuring plan was “substantially complete” and will focus on “substantially improving cash burn” in the future.

Another round of earnings is on the docket for traders after the bell Tuesday, with headliners including Broadcom (AVGO), Costco (COST), Lululemon (LULU), and DocuSign (DOCU) on deck to report. Costco is Yahoo Finance’s Company of the Year.

Investors are nearing the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated last rate-setting meeting of 2022 next week. U.S. central bank officials are scheduled to convene Dec. 13-14 and expected to lift their benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points.

While the Fed’s next policy move is largely priced in, uncertainty remains around how high the key policy rate will need to go, how long the U.S. economy will weather a higher interest rate environment, and whether it may trigger a recession. Wall Street’s big banks, along with traders, are pricing in a pause at around 5%, but some have warned rates can go higher if economic and labor market momentum keeps at the current pace.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2022.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermidTraders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2022.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

“We do not yet think the Federal Open Markets Committee is ready to signal the end of rate hikes is coming soon, but mathematically with the dot plot in hand, the December step toward ‘sufficiently restrictive’ will put them just 75 bps away from the Summary of Economic Projections’ (SEP) median terminal rate,” UBS economist Jonathan Pingle said in a recent note. “The Chair seems likely to remind everyone that the SEP is not a commitment, and depends on how the economy and data unfold.”

More price data is due out ahead of the meeting and will offer traders – and Fed officials – a snapshot of where inflation is trending. The Producer Price Index (PPI), a measure of inflation at the wholesale level, is set for release on Friday, while the all-important Consumer Price Index (CPI) is due out on Tuesday, day one of the Fed meeting.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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



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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.

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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.

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Keystone pipeline temporarily closed following Kansas oil spill



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.

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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.

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