American limousine drivers have been caught by Vancouver officials crossing the border and taking jobs in Canada, which is against the law.
One such driver was caught taking a stretched Ford Excursion ? a vehicle that is not permitted to operate in Canada ? into British Columbia in an attempt to get business. The driver was fined $700 for trying to work in Canada and violating the Motor Vehicle Act. His vehicle was impounded, pending payment of $17,000.
Canadian official said that American limousines can enter Canada on false pretenses, do a quick pickup for a wedding party, and return home making as much as $1,200 ? without paying taxes or fees. Unless the car is caught during the job, authorities can?t do anything to regulate. And B.C. operators say the limousine industry isn?t much of a priority for law enforcement.
?Nobody wants to follow them around because they don?t have enough manpower,? said Bill Shandlow of Classic Limousines.
Insurance is also an issue. The Insurance Corp. of B.C. said that passengers would have to go after American operators for damages if an accident were to happen. ?It?s a big, big mess and should be a significant consideration when you look at hiring one of these vehicles,? said ICBC spokesperson Moira Wellwood.
There are approximately 53 limousine companies in B.C., with 252 vehicles. Legal limousines must be licensed by the Motor Carrier Commission and adhere to the rates they?ve filed with the MCC.
More information on this story can be found in the August issue of LCT.