MaRS Solutions Lab partners with City of Toronto to create sharing economy regulations report


Betakit | | March 31, 2016

UberAs the sharing economy picks up steam, so too has the friction between disruptors and major players in the industries that they are disrupting.

“Governments should not just think of the sharing economy as something to respond to.”

“Governments should not just think of the sharing economy as something to respond to. They should think about what kind of sharing economy they want and then develop a proactive strategy that helps build it.”

As municipal governments across the country have been divided in how they handle regulation — Toronto’s overall support of Uber over neighbouring Brampton and Mississauga’s hostility, for example — the MaRS Solutions Lab has tackled the question of how to approach regulation of the sharing economy.

The Lab partnered with the City of Toronto and consulted 200 individuals and stakeholders over the past six months. Stakeholders included taxi drivers, uberX drivers, hotel managers, and Airbnb hosts, while representatives from all three levels of government, industry, sharing economy companies like Uber and Airbnb, insurance companies, and transit agencies were also consulted through a series of workshops to develop regulatory solutions that that both create public value and support innovation.

“When it comes to introducing regulation for the sharing economy, governments should not only look at regulating new entrants, but should also revisit current regulations to reduce burden for existing operators,” said Joeri van den Steenhoven, the director of MaRS Solutions Lab.

Page 31 Extract:  "Equity crowdfunding: With more Torontonians becoming equity crowdfunders, such as small-scale shareholders in the creation of local businesses, we could support more local entrepreneurship and Torontonians would feel more ownership over local businesses.  This theme also fits particularly well in Toronto as the city is Canada’s financial capital and the financial sector will  likely be the next sector to be disrupted by the sharing economy.

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