Whites need not apply: nor, I assume, should blacks, browns, First Nations or even Asians who speak perfect English.
BUT if you speak Mandarin or Cantonese … or English with a Chinese or other Asian accent … there are apparently a growing number of illicit Vancouver-area companies and businesses that will cater to YOU and want YOUR business … as long as YOU, along with THEM, are willing to help break the law, ignore regulations, cheat the government, the taxman, and your neighbours too … to save money.
I’m referring to those illegal Uber-type ride services that have now been operating in the Lower Mainland for a year or more … even though unlicensed ride services are currently banned in BC. Apparently the operators trust only Chinese and other Asian customers to use but keep their cheating operations secret, in return for cheaper-than-taxi rides.
And of course, it’s a cash business … no taxes paid, no licences paid, and likely no chauffeur or commercial liability insurance either.
A story in the Richmond News said it can take $8,000 to $10,000 to legally licence and equip a legitimate taxi …on top of the vehicle cost.
Amazingly, it’s not that difficult for authorities to find the illegal businesses … and yet, they have not shut them all down.
In fact, according to Global News last week … the number of illegal ride companies/drivers has actually GROWN …. and they even showed a Vancouver/Richmond area map LOADED with available cars. However, once more, when the booked driver phoned to confirm, and the caller had no accent, the driver disconnected.
The companies are right out there on the Internet, but once you book a ride, the driver phones to confirm … and if you do not sound ethnic Chinese or Asian, they just hang up … no ride for you!
The media did expose and identify these services way back in January … and a number of drivers have been fined, as much as $1,150, so you would think that would deter drivers and put the ride services out of business.
Global reporter Nadia Stewart said officials have also sent out about 20 “cease and desist” letters to the companies. Big deal! The business model continues to thrive … expanding from Richmond and Vancouver to Burnaby, Coquitlam and Surrey as well.
These cheaters …. companies and customers … are thumbing their noses at the rest of us.
When I saw that story, and others also highlighting the growth of ignore-the-rules mind sets, I couldn’t help but also think about the recent stories of alleged heavy cheating and money laundering at BC casinos and ALSO about the number of stories regarding multi-million dollar homes in Richmond occupied by people reporting very low level incomes!
You can read about that here:https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-vancouvers-ethnic-chinese-irked-by-inequality-tax-avoidance.
As that article pointed out, the vast majority of Chinese residents and citizens here are just as concerned as the rest of the population about any cheating that is taking place.
When ANY multi-millionaires are hiding their incomes illegally, laundering money illegally and even operating secret tax and licence-avoiding “discount” services, the government has a DUTY to go after them aggressively, without fear of alienating ethnic sensitivities … or votes!
It’s all a total disrespect for the rule of law and a rip off of a country that welcomed many of those here. Shame!
Clearly, something has been going terribly wrong … and because our officials and politicians are either unable to keep up with it all … or are reluctant to do so …. the problem is clearly growing.
And the divisive societal implications will hurt us all unless authorities step up their ACTIONS to go after the cheaters.