According to reports in the Toronto Star, the federal government has been conducting research about the opportunities and challenges presented by the sharing economy. A committee of five deputy ministers enlisted a team of analysts to identify a number of challenges for regulators of the sharing economy, including labour and social issues, privacy, health and safety.
The fact that the sharing economy will create winners and losers is obvious….What remains to be determined is what the overall impact will be on Canadian society and the degree to which proactive government responses can positively shape the outcomes of the sharing economy–Federal Government Report
Key findings from the report include:
- the Canadian social safety net (including old age security and employment insurance) would need to be redesigned to meet the needs of sharing-economy workers
- it will be difficult to apply the country’s current labour laws, such as the minimum wage, to sharing economy workers
- attempts to over-regulate the sharing economy could push the it outside of the government’s control
News of this report came just days after the City of Edmonton became the first Canadian city to legalize the ride-sharing company Uber.