In the past few years, the global economy has seen the arrival
of new enterprises that emerged from the new digital economy. One
of these enterprises is the American company Uber, which offers
transportation services through its mobile application. Since its
arrival in Canada in 2012, Uber has been facing significant
challenges with regards to its integration. The taxi lobby has
strongly opposed Uber since its arrival, describing it as unfair
competition. Quebec Transport Minister, Mr. Robert Poëti, has
criticized Uber many times, depicting it as [translation]
"illegal transportation".1The Bureau du
Taxi de Montréal has seized hundreds of vehicles since
Uber's arrival in Montreal.2 Finally, Uber recently
created controversy as a result of the exorbitant fees it charged
on new year's eve as a result of high demand, charging some
users as much as $300 for a ride in Montreal!3
Aviva insurance company recently announced that it will offer a
new insurance policy specifically for ride-sharing drivers using
platforms like Uber starting in February 2016. The insurance will
first be available in Ontario, but will be offered in other
provinces over the course of 2016. This policy will be available to
people working a minimum of 20 hours weekly as drivers. Like Aviva,
other insurance companies are currently working on their own
products for this new market.4
This new type of protection directly fills a gap in the
insurance coverage of ride-sharing drivers as most of them are
insured only through their personal car insurance. These policies
do not, however, cover Uber drivers for their waged transportation
activities as they usually contain exclusions regarding waged
transportation and similar situations. Consequently, this situation
raises issues regarding insurance coverage that de facto
increases litigation risk between drivers, regulators, passengers
and insurance companies.
In Quebec, the Act respecting transportation services by
taxi5 and its related regulation have been in force
since 2001 and were obviously not drafted in light of the
technological changes currently occurring, just like many other
laws across Canada. As a result, many government instances have
publicly announced their intention to reform the regulatory
framework applicable to the taxi industry to adapt to this new
paradigm. It is thus safe to assume that these new policies will
then need to be adapted to the new regulatory and legislative
context regarding aspects such as mandatory insurance
It is clear that the services offered by ride-sharing
applications form part of a greater phenomenon linked to the new
digital economy. As technology becomes increasingly present in our
lives, other Uber-like situations are likely to occur: a new
enterprise offering a new product in an existing market governed by
a regulatory framework that is not adapted to this new reality,
inevitably causing friction among the current market players. It is
also clear, however, that this new digital economy is here to stay
and that such new business opportunities will continue to arise,
regardless of the ability of governmental authorities to adapt.
Automobile drivers, like fine wine, tend to get better with age. Older drivers can draw on a wealth of experience from their years on the road to assist them when faced by a variety of dangerous conditions.
Under B.C.'s former and current Limitation Act, the limitation period for a Plaintiff's claim can be extended on the basis of a Defendant having acknowledged in writing some liability for the cause of action.
The insurance industry will be interested in Ledcor Construction Ltd v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co because of principles the Supreme Court of Canada applied to the "faulty workmanship" exclusion in a Builders' Risk policy.
The recent Preliminary Issue decision in Walsh and Echelon (FSCO A15-007448, August 31, 2016) confirms that an economic loss does not need to be demonstrated in order to be entitled to attendant care benefits.
For the first time in BC, a Court has decided that an insured is entitled to special costs, rather than the lower tariff costs, solely because they were successful in a coverage action against their insurer.
Policyholders recently won a key victory at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ledcor Construction Ltd. v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co. as the Supreme Court clarified the interpretation of a standard form...
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).