Tag Archives: vancouver

Lyft and Uber Are Finally Operating in Vancouver

After a long long time , Vancouver and the province has finally approved Uber and Lyft to operate this week.

Vancouver was the only large metropolis in North America where Uber and Lyft were pretty much outlawed and unable to operate.

British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena has blamed the old government for stalling so long:

British Columbians have been asking for new ride hailing services since 2012, but the old government failed to get it done. Our government did the hard work and delivered.

Over the last two years, our government has been diligent in developing a framework that puts passenger safety first, and we remained steadfast against pressures to abandon the safety measures we put in place. Road users can now be confident that B.C.’s ride-hailing services will comply with some of the highest safety standards in North America.

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Claire Trevena

BC Minister of Transportation

While a lot of users took to twitter to share their joy

… while some were not so pleased:

Uber and Lyft were ecstatic to be able to operate again in Vancouver.

Lyft and Uber are almost identically priced, Uber seems cheaper when we tried to get a quote to go to the famous Phnom Penh Restaurant from the airport: $24-$30 with Uber vs $30-$35 with Lyft. If you decide to take the same ride from airport with taxi, it will cost you the most, around $37.

While Uber said it will cover the whole metro area , Lyft said that for now it will be just sticking to the core of the city.

Area Where Uber Operates in Vancouver

Area Where Lyft Operates

For now, Uber and Lyft are the only two companies that are allowed to operate in Vancouver but BC Transportation Ministry said that they will be approving other ride sharing companies soon.

Amazon Leases 1.1m SQuare feet office space in Vancouver

Amazon had decided to go all out with its lease of 1.1m of square feet space downtown Vancouver.

Their office will take the entire block and will house thousands of IT workers right downtown Vancouver.

This is the first major deal for Amazon after it decided to back away from their HQ2 in New York City.

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Day one.

A post shared by Mitchell Mohorovich (@mohoromitch) on

Amazon employs over 6,000 employees in Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Right now Amazon is using about 300,000 sq ft in Vancouver employing around 1,000 employees.

Amazon always claimed that it wants to add another 5,000 employees in Vancouver but with office space of 1.1m – it can easily house at least 10,000 employees.

The offices should be ready around 2022 / 2023.

Also recently Microsoft leased 69,000 sq ft and gaming company Kabam leased 105,000 sq ft. As you can see it is nowhere near Amazon’s 1.1m space.

Toronto Is The Best City To Launch Startup In Canada, 8Th In The World

Toronto is once again has been named as one of the best cities in the world to start your tech startup business.

Experts at Movinga, online platform-based moving company, have crunched the numbers and named Toronto as one of the best cities to launch tech startup in the world.

Movinga looked at 75 cities around the world and ranked them based on their “entrepreneurial spirit, business opportunities and economic growth”. They also looked into “looking into startup costs, opportunities for female founders and the typical timeframe for setting up a new business”.

Top three cities for tech startups were San Francisco, London and New York City.

Toronto was the only city in Canada that made the top 10 list.

The main industries for growth in the tech/digital venture category is one of the most interesting datasets in this study. With Artificial Intelligence taking top spot and Blockchain making a noticeable appearance, digital entrepreneurs are clearly leveraging future-facing technologies more than ever.

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Marta Blanco Amez

Vice President of Marketing at Movinga

Vancouver and Montreal were among other Canadian cities that made the overall list. Vancouver was #16 and Monteal was #32.

Toronto and Montreal were highlighted as great cities for Artificial technologies while Vancouver was commended for great Block-chain technology use.

Cities were scored on the following criteria

Tech Ecosystem
This score indicates the digital business ecosystem available in a city by analysing the number of existing companies recently launched.
The Tech Ecosystem score is based on the number of recent startups and for the purpose of this study, a startup is defined as a company founded after 30/6/2017.

Human Capital
This score indicates the available tech workforce.
Human Capital consists of the average number of people working at a startup in technology-related and digital businesses. Additionally, it contains the current number of job vacancies for developers. For the purpose of this study, a startup is defined as a company founded after 30/6/2017.

Venture Capital
This score analyses how many companies have received venture capital to evaluate the funding environment in the city.
The score indicates the sum of the (publicly available) amount of funding that technology-related and digital startups received. For the purpose of this study, a startup is defined as a company founded after 30/6/2017.

Main Industry for Growth
This factor reveals the most popular type of startup in the city.
The results are the category/categories with the most startups in a city. For the purpose of this study, a startup is defined as a company founded after 30/6/2017.

Getty Images

How tech startup scene in Toronto , Montreal and Vancouver stack up

In overall tech ecosystem Toronto was #7, Vancouver #16, Montreal #32.

When it came to availability of tech staff to do the job , Vancouver was the ranked the best in Canada at # 24 , Toronto #39 and Montreal was at #42.

Easiest cities in Canada to raise money for technology startups were: Toronto at #22, Vancouver at #27, and Montreal at #31.

Surprises?

It was surprising to see Sao Paulo Brazil and Singapore making it in the top 10 list.

It was interesting to see Tallinn as top of the cities for availability of great tech talent.

And less of a surprise it was striking to see that Beijing and Shangai beat New York when it comes to VC money. You would think New York would be #1 in this.

Top List For Technology Ventures

Vancouver Potentially Cracking Down on Bitcoin ATMs

Police in Vancouver say that Bitcoin ATMs are used for money laundering and must be stopped. Vancouver Mayor agrees with them. Bitcoin users say that federal rules need to be set for bitcoin across Canada.

Unlike banks and money lending services, bitcoin machines are not covered by federal anti-money-laundering regulations.

“Regulate the use and operation of cryptocurrency ATMs, including the requirement for a business licence, requirement for signage to advertise common frauds, requirement for identifications to be used to verify the sender and receiver of funds and requirement of security features.”

Vancouver wants to pass this municipal bylaw soon

Some people might be using bitcoin ATMs to launder money, but many others use it for legitimate purposes.

Police in Vancouver say that many of these machines are used to commit fraud.

There are more than 60 bitcoin ATMs in Vancouver area.

If you have bitcoin or ethereum accounts with coins in it – you can use ATMs to withdraw the money. Typical fee is around 9% to take out the money.

Vancouver is calling for federal government to step up and regulate bitcoin ATMs to make sure they are covered by anti-money-laundering.

Some machines advertise $1,000 or $3,000 limit. Some others do not have any limits at all.

Tesla Model 3 Hacked in Canada

Two hackers in Vancouver had won a Tesla after they have found loophole in Telsa’s web browser that let them bypass security.

This happened at a Pwn2Own hacking contest in Vancouver where so called white hackers and security experts gather to try to exploit various computer systems . Pwn2Own has been going on for over 10 years.

This year was a special year as this is the first time a big company like Tesla agreed to lend them a car to be exploited and hacked .

Two security experts, Richard Zhu and Amat Cam, were able to penetrate Tesla’s web browser and show a custom message.

Tesla gave the duo the same car they hacked as a gift. They also mentioned that they will be fixing the bug asap.

“In the coming days, we will release a software update that addresses this research. We understand that this demonstration took an extraordinary amount of effort and skill, and we thank these researchers for their work to help us continue to ensure our cars are the most secure on the road today.”

Tesla’s been involved with hacking community for many years and have been giving away bounties of up to $15,000 US. Nice way to keep the car safe.

US asks Canada to Extradite Huawei’s CFO

U.S. Department of Justice said it has asked Canada to extradite Chinese Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou to the US.

Jury has charged Huaweri as well as Meng with the following list of infractions:

  • conspiracy to trade secrets
  • attempted theft of trade secrets
  • seven counts of wire fraud
  • one count of obstruction of justice
  • faces charges of bank fraud
  • wire fraud
  • conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud

“Today we are announcing that we are bringing criminal charges against telecommunications giant Huawei and its associates for nearly two dozen alleged crimes. China must hold its citizens and Chinese companies accountable for complying with the law.”

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker

A pretty large list of infractions indeed.

Last month Canada has intercepted Meng and put her on bail when she was travelling through Vancouver to Cancun, Mexico. Canadian government had to fire Canadian ambassador to China, John McCallum, because he said that it would be “great” and simply things for Canada if the U.S. dropped its extradition request for Meng.

Chinese government continues to be furious with Canada and even went to say that “Canada sometimes acts more like America’s ‘51st state’ than a sovereign country with a will of its own,” through their People’s Daily Online publication.

Even with such a large list of potential infractions the US still has to prove any wrong doings by Huawei or its empoyees. US might be using this as show of force to get such a large company like Huawei nowhere near US or its allies due to its new 5G technology and great potential to spy on the US and its allies with it.

BC might finally get Uber

British Columbia has finally introduced legislation where you can drive for Uber legally in that province. This will officially kick in around mid of 2019.

You would need to get a Class 4 (or more known as commercial license) instead of normal Class 5 license and undergo criminal check to drive for the ride sharing company.

Transportation Minister , Claire Trevena , said it is a matter of safety:

“It’s got stricter limits on it and I think that anybody who’s getting in as a passenger wants to know the driver is as safe as possible.”

Here is what the difference is:

Class 4 (unrestricted)

School bus

What you can use it for:

  • To drive buses with a maximum seating capacity of 25 persons (including the driver), including school buses, special activity buses and special vehicles used to transport people with disabilities
  • To drive taxis and limousines
  • To drive ambulances
  • To drive any vehicle in Class 5

Class 5 or 7 driver’s licence

Car

What you can use it for:

  • To drive cars, vans, trucks, construction, utility vehicles (2 axles maximum) and motorhomes (may exceed 2 axles)
  • To tow trailers or vehicles up to 4,600kg
  • To ride a limited speed motorcycle or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV)
  • To ride 3-wheeled vehicles but does not include 3-wheeled motorcycles (trikes) or motorcycle/sidecar combinations

Uber’s Dissapointment

Uber Manager Michael van Hemme said he was disappointed by the BC’s decision as Class 4 license is more difficult to get:

“Drivers, experienced safe drivers have a hard time understanding why they would need to get a special driver’s licence to drive the same vehicle that they’re already driving, so it definitely becomes a barrier to a lot of people to participate.”

“I hope that the government is willing to continue to engage until the entire framework is finalized and we will continue to work with the NDP government and all parties to ensure true best practices from other jurisdictions are adopted here in B.C. and lay out the benefits of doing so,” van Hemmen said.

MichaelGaida / Pixabay

Bad Decision?

Helen del Val from North Vancouver wrote in to The Vancouver Sun questioning the British Columbia’s NDP government’s decision:

“I take early and late flights on a regular basis for work so I take taxis. On the last trip, I waited 45 minutes for a cab home.

When I read Tuesday’s article about some of the rules and regulations being put in place to bring Uber in, I pre-booked YVR parking for a trip and I will pre-book it for next week’s trip and so on. I’m driving. Every other city has figured out ride-hailing so why can’t we?

The provincial government’s action in putting up all the hurdles to block/delay Uber is akin to a judge setting bail at an amount he or she knows the accused cannot raise. Our government has no will and courage to bring in Uber and lacks the integrity to admit it.”