May 19, 2020

Saskatchewan government approves regulations for ride-sharing companies

Saskatchewan
Uber
Lyft
Joe Hargrave
nat blo
2 min
Saskatchewan government approves regulations for ride-sharing companies

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft could start operating in the Saskatchewan province as early as mid-December, according to CBC News. The provincial government announced this week it has approved regulations that would allow ride-sharing companies to operate in the Saskatchewan area.

Joe Hargrave, local minister for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, said "They've all said they'll come to Saskatchewan if the regulations are right for their company,” on Thursday. However, he admitted that no large ride-sharing companies had made a firm commitment. "They're going to wait and see where the cities land with their regulations."

The Vehicles For Hire Act, which balances public demand and safety, according to Hargrave, was officially passed in May, but were delayed due to “extensive consultation”.

Drivers working for ride-sharing companies under the new regulations will be allowed to operate under a Class Five license (the standard license for small passenger vehicles). The decision has provoked a negative response from the Saskatchewan Taxi Cab Association, whose drivers up until this point were required to have a more stringent Class Four license.

The Association said in a press release: "It only makes common sense that for vehicles logging tens of thousands of more kilometres per year, and often carrying some of our most vulnerable individuals, including children, that they must pass a higher standard of training".

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The new regulations will also require hired drivers to pass annual criminal record checks, as well as have a satisfactory driver history, meaning “less than 12 points under the Driver Improvement Program in the last two years and no impaired driving-related suspensions in the last 10 years”, CBC reports.

Public awareness and educational organisation, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), came out in support of the regulations, claiming that "we have seen as much as a five per cent drop in impaired driving in jurisdictions that do have rideshare options, so for us it's really exciting".

Uber issued a statement, saying they “look forward to working with municipalities, especially Saskatoon and Regina, as they work to update bylaws to launch more transportation options like Uber”.


 

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Jun 10, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

G7
G7Summit
Sustainability
EU
3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 

 

Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.

 

Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 

 

When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 

 

Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 

 

The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 

 

It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 

 

Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 
 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”

 

The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 

 

According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 

 

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