'Sharing Economy' Report: Canada Should Limit Airbnb Rentals, Licence Uber Drivers

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TORONTO — A new report on the sharing economy suggests governments should screen drivers on platforms such as Uber and limit what kinds of homes can be rented on sites like Airbnb.

In creating the report, research group MaRS Solutions Lab interviewed more than 136 people including taxi drivers, uberX drivers, hotel managers and Airbnb hosts.

Officials from the Ontario and Toronto governments also contributed to the report.

The report makes a series of recommendations for how to effectively regulate the sharing economy.

One of the recommendations says residents should only be allowed to rent out their primary residences — and not secondary or commercial residences — on home-sharing websites like Airbnb for a maximum of 180 days a year.

"Governments should not only look at regulating new entrants, but should also ... reduce the burden for existing operators."

The report also suggests that every driver should be screened and every vehicle inspected and insured, even if those drivers are operating on platforms like the ride-hailing app, Uber.

Driver training should also be revamped, to compensate for differences in the kinds of training that taxi drivers and Uber drivers receive.

"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," Joeri van den Steenhoven, the director of MaRS Solutions Lab, said in a statement.

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