Tory MP Alex Nuttall Named New Critic To Protect 'Sharing Economy'

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OTTAWA — The official Opposition Conservatives are naming a parliamentary critic to defend their new position on the so-called sharing economy: leave it alone as much as possible.

Ontario MP Alex Nuttall takes on the newly established shadow-cabinet post as controversy rages in jurisdictions around the world about how to deal with disruptive ride-sharing services like Uber.

rona ambrose
Interim Tory Leader Rona Ambrose addresses the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa on Monday, March 21, 2016. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

The taxi industry has strongly opposed Uber in various Canadian cities, saying the service's drivers have an unfair advantage because they are not subject to the same rules.

In prepared remarks, Nuttall says Conservatives support strong competition that drives down prices for consumers.

He says that while the sharing economy presents challenges for regulators, too much regulation would stifle opportunity for businesses and consumers.

Rookie MP named to role

Governments at different levels across Canada have launched studies to determine how best to react to modern-day services like Uber and the home-sharing service Airbnb.

"As a legislator, I know it's my role to support policies that grow the market place so that businesses thrive and innovate," Nuttall says in a speech to be delivered Friday in Barrie, Ont. 

"We as a country can choose to be the type of jurisdiction that builds regulatory and taxation frameworks that support innovation, and by doing so we are more likely to benefit from the new sharing economy."

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