City staff recommends taking on taxi licensing administration

Guelph, Ont., September 23, 2016 – City staff is taking a report to Committee of the Whole on October 3 that recommends transferring the administration and enforcement of two Guelph Police Service Board bylaws to the City of Guelph.

In Guelph, all taxi cabs, or vehicles operating as such, as well as taxi drivers and dispatchers are required to be licensed under the Guelph Police Services Board Bylaw 145-2011. The second bylaw—146-2011—applies to all owners and dealers of second hand goods/shops, salvage yards/shops and dealers buying and selling used gold and jewelry.

“We’ve heard from the Guelph Police Service that administering, monitoring and enforcing the licensing is not a core duty of a police service. In fact, Guelph is one of only a handful of municipalities in Ontario continuing to delegate its authority to police services,” says Doug Godfrey, acting manager of Operations. “With a mandate to license businesses in Guelph, the City is in a position to take on these licensing duties.”

City staff is also recommending amendments to the City’s Business Licensing Bylaw (2009)-18855 to incorporate the administration and enforcement to reflect the regulations and intent of the current Guelph Police Service Board bylaws.

If the recommendations outlined in the staff report are approved by Council, the City would assume responsibility from the Guelph Police Service effective January 1, 2017. Approval will also position the City to do a review of the Business Licensing Bylaw that will include public consultation.

Each year, the City processes about 1,500 business licenses and about 500 business licenses for the taxi and second hand good industries are processed by the Guelph Police Service.

Shared economy

A component of the proposed Business Licensing Bylaw review will be coordinated with work currently underway regarding the shared economy, which includes drive share.

In Guelph, shared economy—often used to describe economic and social activity involving online transactions—includes talent marketplace (e.g. TaskIT—a service allowing users to access IT assistance through an application based system), drive share (e.g. Uber), parking (e.g. Rover) and lodging (e.g. Airbnb).

On April 25, 2016, Guelph City Council passed a motion directing staff to review potential policies of the shared economy and/or disruptive technology and its impacts on municipalities.

The City, along with several municipalities and community partners, is currently developing and testing a replicable template or ‘how-to’ guide to influence local sharing economy policies and regulatory framework.  This proposed approach was introduced and endorsed at a Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario meeting this past August.

For more information

(Taxi licensing)

Doug Godfrey
Acting General Manager
Operations
519-822-1260 extension 2520
doug.godfrey@guelph.ca

(Shared economy)

Cathy Kennedy
Manager, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations
Intergovernmental Relations, Policy and Open Government
519-822-1260 extension 2255
cathy.kennedy@guelph.ca