March 3rd, 2024

N.L. halts first ride-share permit within days, cites ‘new information’ about owner

By The Canadian Press on January 23, 2024.

Just days after celebrating the issuing of the province's first ride-sharing licence, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has suspended it citing "new information." A statue of John Cabot stares out to sea from the foot of the steps of Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial legislature building, in St. John's, Aug. 29, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sarah Smellie

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Just days after celebrating the issuing of the province’s first ride-sharing licence, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has suspended it citing “new information.”

The Department of Digital Government and Service NL says it is reviewing information “potentially related to the licensee” Redsea Riding, which is owned and operated by Yosief Tesfamicael.

Court documents show a person named Yosief Tesfamicael has entered a plea of not guilty to six charges including sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching and unlawfully making sexually explicit material available to a child.

The document from provincial Supreme Court shows the indictment was filed on Oct. 18, 2023, and a trial date has been scheduled for Oct. 7.

The Progressive Conservative Opposition issued a news release after local news outlet VOCM broke the story, questioning the Liberal government’s due diligence process for issuing ride-sharing licences.

Tesfamicael spoke to The Canadian Press on Friday about his plans to launch the province’s first Uber-style ride-sharing operation in the St. John’s area, but when contacted today he had no comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2023.

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