Ontario Chamber of Commerce Urges City of Toronto to Unlock Economic Potential of the Sharing Economy

TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), Ontario's largest business advocacy network, is calling on Toronto City Council to unlock the economic potential of the sharing economy as the City considers adopting a Transportation Network Company (TNC) regulation for ridesharing.

"The sharing economy is growing at an incredible rate and the opportunity for Ontario municipalities is an important one," said Allan O'Dette, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Jurisdictions that are building adaptable regulatory and tax frameworks are more likely to produce new technologies that will drive economic growth."

The chamber's foray into the debate at Toronto City Hall follows the recent release of their report, Harnessing the Power of the Sharing Economy, which called on governments to recognize the sharing economy as an opportunity to build adaptable regulatory frameworks that support innovation. This week's deliberations by Toronto City Council, say the chamber, are an opportunity for Toronto to become a leading jurisdiction in creating innovative regulations.

"Ontarians and Torontonians need a regulatory regime that is able to adapt to changing economic conditions and is responsive to the emergence of new sectors," said O'Dette. "This kind of regulatory system is fair for both established operators and new market entrants."

The OCC has also emphasized the need for immediate action to be taken to fill any insurance gaps in the sharing economy, particularly in the transportation space. Traditional insurance products, say the OCC, have not adapted to account for occasional commercial use. Nor have regulators adequately clarified the ability of insurance providers to offer auto insurance packages for ride-sharing suppliers who need both commercial and personal insurance. 

According to a recent survey conducted by the OCC, nearly two thirds of Ontarians believe that the growth of companies in the sharing economy is good for Ontario's economy. In the Greater Toronto Area, this number jumps to 85 percent. The survey also found that 1 in 5 Greater Toronto Area residents have used Uber while only 1 in 5 Ontarians believe Uber should be banned from operating in the province.

Learn more about the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

SOURCE Ontario Chamber of Commerce

For further information: Media Contact: Rachel Strong, Senior Communications Advisor, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, rachelstrong@occ.ca, 416 482 5222

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