Can disability rights be maintained in the “uber-economy”?

Everyone is talking about the “sharing” or “gig” economy these days, especially when it comes to ride-sharing apps like Uber. The public debate has mostly centred on issues of public safety, customer service, precarious work, insurance and taxation. And rightly so. Uber’s ability to skirt regulations not only threatens to dismantle an entire sector, but also adds to the broader corporate attack on labour protections, fair taxation, regulatory systems and the future of decent work. Nevertheless, there’s another issue that isn’t getting enough attention in the “uber-debate” – and that would be the issue of accessible transportation and disability rights.

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Why is the Competition Bureau of Canada Giving Uber a Free Ride?

Ostensibly, the Competition Bureau is a law enforcement agency that administers and enforces several federal statutes, including the Competition Act.

It investigates and litigates behaviour designed to restrict competition, such as collusion between competitors, price-fixing, bid-rigging, tied selling and other forms of anti-competitive behaviour. It also investigates certain forms of illicit competitive behaviour that involve dishonest and unlawful business means, such as deceptive telemarketing and misleading marketing practices.

On November 26th, the Commissioner of Competition (the chief officer of the Bureau) published an op-ed in the Globe and Mail entitled, “Don’t Ban Ride-Sharing. Rethink Regulation.”

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