AMS will submit statement to KATC regarding proposed Uber bylaws

AMS Assembly sees multiple budgets approved

AMS Assembly met on October 4 to approve of multiple budgets throughout various AMS offices and divisions. The AMS executive also received approval to respond to proposed city bylaws regarding Uber regulation in Kingston. 

Commissioner of Municipal Affairs receives approval to submit statement in response to Uber bylaws 

Commissioner of Municipal Affairs Stefano Hollands presented a motion to task the AMS executive with advocating for a fair regulatory framework with the Kingston Area Taxi Commission (KATC). 

The KATC will be holding a meeting at Kingston City Hall on October 18 to continue the review of recently drafted bylaws that would heavily regulate the presence of Uber in Kingston. 

Hollands said the AMS isn’t explicitly stating their support for Uber – instead, they would be primarily lobbying for the best practices in regards to Uber’s presence in Kingston and for a better regulatory framework than what would arise from the KATC’s presently proposed bylaws. 

He referred to these bylaws as a “divergence from best practices,” further stating they would allow for an “ungovernable” framework. 

Hollands said KATC has acted as an “undemocratic regulatory body,” and explained that many other Canadian university cities like Hamilton, Toronto and London maintain bylaws that ensure a functional Uber presence. 

The proposed bylaws wouldn’t allow Uber to continue to operate and be accessible to students, which Hollands said becomes a significant problem in winter months when buses, bikes and walking all become more difficult methods of transportation. 

The AMS hopes to present a statement at the October 18 meeting and received approval from Assembly to do so on the grounds that the statement is emailed to all members for review prior to the meeting. 

All presented budget proposals pass 

Numerous budgets were approved at the meeting, including those of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), the Judicial Affairs Office, the Office of the Secretariat, the Clubs Office, the Vice-President (University Affairs) and several AMS commission budgets. 

The Clubs Office budget was adjusted to accommodate the new $10,000 student constable bursary, wherein clubs can apply to receive a bursary if student constables are required at an event. 

The Commission of Social Issues declared an increase in honorariums and salaries for the 2017-18 year, due to more honorariums being distributed to volunteers within the commission. An honorarium is now being granted to the Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Affairs and a part-time salary was created for the new Equity Affairs Commissioner position. 

Since the Queen’s Media and Journalism Conference occurred in Toronto rather than on campus, the conference saw a $4,600 budget increase due to the itinerary revamp of the conference. Although decreased this year, the Secretariat budget accounted for this school year’s upcoming Rector elections.

A point of inquiry that arose during assembly was the $24,651 in AMS student fees that will be donated to the United Way. Given on behalf of the student body, several Assembly members noted that the donation didn’t allow for students to choose where their money went or if they wanted to contribute. 

Allocated under the Commission of Municipal Affairs since 1991, the donation has been a consistent topic of debate at Assembly for the past few years. Despite this, the motion passed.

OUSA and ReUnion Street Festival updates

Assembly began with a presentation from the OUSA, during which Director Sophie Helpard explained the organization’s impact and continued work with various student bodies and universities. 

AMS President Jennifer Li commented on ReUnion Street Festival preparations for this weekend’s Homecoming, where she stated that the performer for the event would be revealed a few days prior. Li added that a community cleanup has been organized for Sunday morning.

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