Stranded BC

How "independent" is the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) from the BC NDP?

Left to right: Catharine Reid (Passenger Transportation Board Chair); John Horgan (Premier of British Columbia)

How "independent" is the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) from the BC NDP?

The answer is: Not at all. However, first, we need to understand how the PTB was established.

According to the Passenger Transportation Act, the PTB was established with at least three persons appointed after a merit-based process by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Lieutenant Governor in Council must designate one of the persons appointed as chair of the board.

Currently, the PTB is made up of 6 members, but apparently, none of which are acting on behalf of the public or from an entrepreneurial background. Please read the PTB member's background. 

The following question arises… Who is the B.C. Lieutenant Governor in Council and who designated her as Lieutenant Governor?

Judith Guichon is the B.C. Lieutenant Governor in Council and was appointed by Governor General David Johnston on the advice of then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 

On the advice of the Prime Minister, the Governor-General of Canada appoints the lieutenant governors to carry out most of the monarch's constitutional and ceremonial duties for an unfixed period of time —known as serving at His Excellency's pleasure—though five years is the standard convention. 

Given this context, according to Rob Shaw (B.C. Legislative Reporter, Vancouver Sun) in one of his articles mentioned that the NDP appointed board Chair Catharine Reid. Please view the article: 

Regulator mum on ride-hailing, as B.C. premier, calls delays disappointing

Is it a coincidence? We don't think so. Catharine Reid started as a board member since October 1, 2017, and his term is going to expire by October 1, 2020. John Horgan assumed office on July 18, 2017.

To conclude, if the PTB were completely independent of the BC NDP, there would not be need to keep protecting the taxi industry by imposing red tape on those who want to drive for ridesharing companies such as the onerous Class 4 Commercial Licence requirement which prevents people from driving with ride-hailing services limiting the number of drivers available to provide rides across British Columbia.