Saskatchewan opens the door to ride-hailing coverage

Premier Brad Wall believes these services can reduce impaired driving

Sasktchewan’s government is planning to introduce legislation so that Saskatchewan Government Insurance can offer coverage to ride-hailing companies such as Uber.

This was one of the elements of Premier Brad Wall’s final throne speech on Wednesday before he retires in January.

Related: 449 Saskatchewan drivers cited for unsafe driving in school zones: SGI

Wall said he wants to encourage municipalities to allow ride-booking services to reduce impaired driving.

“I do think we just need more options for Saskatchewan people. Obviously almost every major North America city is comfortable with respect to the safety that’s provided by the various ride-sharing platforms,” Wall said.

Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of impaired driving in Canada. Statistics Canada says there were 683 police-reported impaired driving cases per 100,000 population in Saskatchewan in 2011. The Canadian average was 262.

Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, said he thinks ride hailing services might help lower drunk driving rates, especially in rural communities where there may not be taxi service for people to use after going to the local bar.

“I think actually it would. I think it’s an interesting concept. We’d sure like to look at it,” said Orb.

Related: Popularity of sharing economy businesses requires movement on specialized coverage: IIC

The throne speech also revealed that the provincial government will backtrack on a tax cut made in July.

It says it will raise the corporate tax rate back to 12% from 11.5%.

The tax was lowered so that Saskatchewan’s rate matched other western provinces, but Wall has said that’s no longer necessary because British Columbia has increased its corporate rate.

Legislation that allows up to 49% of a Crown corporation to be sold without it being considered privatization will also be repealed.

Further details on the throne speech can be found through this article available on CTV News’ website.

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Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P.
Transcontinental Media G.P.