Mayor Nenshi's statement about Uber entering Calgary

Post Date: Thursday, October 15, 2015

Earlier today, Uber, a private for hire vehicle company, announced that it will commence operations in Calgary.

I am disappointed that they have decided to do so without adequate insurance or regulations to protect public safety. Learn more here.

Alberta's Superintendent of Insurance has issued an advisory notice regarding these private vehicle for-hire services saying "Albertans are at risk of not having access to insurance protection and accident benefits under Alberta law if using Uber’s ride sharing services, and potentially other ride sharing services as well."  

Uber has shown itself to be flexible in different regulatory environments around the world. It would be helpful for everyone if they demonstrate that same flexibility here in Calgary.

I strongly suggest that you don’t drive for Uber and that you don’t use Uber until the insurance and regulatory issues are sorted out. If you drive for Uber, you should be aware that you are breaking the law. I encourage anyone who wishes to drive for Uber check with their insurer to confirm their insurance coverage. We recently heard from one major insurer in Alberta that, despite Uber's claims to be working with a company to solve this insurance problem, there are no insurance products yet on the Alberta market that will provide proper coverage.  

I am not opposed to changing our laws to allow companies like Uber to operate in Calgary. In fact, the City has been working hard on this issue for some time.

Throughout this, ensuring safety is, and has always been, my priority.

On November 16, Council will discuss new technologies and new ways of moving people around the city. There are several issues that must be considered, including:
  • insurance requirements;         
  • regulations to protect passenger and driver safety; and
  • how to treat all market participants fairly.
The government is doing its part. Uber needs to do its part as well.