Winnipeg must pave the way for Uber

It’s 2016, but some people seem to have missed the memo.

There is still a debate over whether Manitobans are free to use ridesharing apps on their phone.

The fact this is even being debated is absurd. It is totally condescending and paternalistic for any politician to control what app you can use on your phone. Politicians aren’t our parents, they shouldn’t get to tell you if you can use Uber or not.

Yet here we are. Because of absurd and out of touch restrictions, Manitobans are having to fight for our right to use an app that’s being utilized by millions of people around the world.

The Manitoba Taxicab Board – a relic of a time long past – is still trying to interfere with your right to freely use ridesharing services. There is no need for a taxicab board in the 21st century. It needs to be scrapped and replaced with nothing.

A petition is calling on leaders at different levels of government to join the modern world and allow Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services. It’s a great petition and deserves support.

Yet, it’s that very word “allow” that bothers me. It’s embarrassing that we have to go begging, cap in hand to our politicians just to use an app on our phones.

Think about it: You are an adult. Anyone driving for Uber is an adult. You want a ride somewhere, the driver agrees to give you a ride. You exchange money, and the transaction is done. Where the hell does a politician come into any of this?

That’s how politicians create fake meaning and power for themselves, by interfering in your personal decisions and choices they have no business in.

For anyone who says that the ridesharing regulation process will be long and complex, there are already tons of cities that allow Uber. Call one of them up, ask how they regulate it, and implement those regulations. Easy.

It’s time for Manitobans to be treated like the adults we are. We don’t need politicians acting like our parents, and we shouldn’t have to beg them for something as simple as downloading and using a ridesharing app.

The taxicab board needs to be scrapped, politicians need to pave the way for Uber and ridesharing services, and then they need to get out of the way and let Manitobans make our own choices.

Spencer Fernando

This article orginally appeared on – Manitoba’s homepage