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City of Surrey paid almost $42,000 to fight losing legal battle with Uber

The Uber app is pictured on a smartphone in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, Dec. 30, 2019.
The Uber app is pictured on a smartphone in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

We now know that it cost the City of Surrey nearly $42,000 to fight Uber earlier this year.

Mayor Doug McCallum has repeatedly made his opposition to ridesharing clear, and especially since the company and its rival, Lyft, were granted licences back in January to operate in the Lower Mainland and Whistler.

READ MORE: Surrey’s mayor says ‘large amount’ of residents don’t want ride-hailing. Here’s what the numbers say

McCallum vowed to keep ridesharing out of his city, refusing to grant municipal licences, and said drivers would be ticketed if they operated without a permit.

Bylaws officers issued dozens of $500 tickets to Uber drivers over a two-week period in January.

B.C. premier tells Surrey to back down in ride-hailing fight
B.C. premier tells Surrey to back down in ride-hailing fight

Under provincial law, municipalities do not have the power to block ridesharing.

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In the end, a B.C. Supreme Court Judge ordered Surrey to stop, and the service continued to move into the area.

READ MORE: B.C. judge orders City of Surrey to stop handing out tickets to Uber drivers

Councillor Linda Annis called the $42,000 legal bill, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, a waste of money.

“I’m shocked. That’s not what taxpayers’ money should be going for,” Annis told Global News on Monday.

READ MORE: Surrey, B.C. mayor doubles down on Uber crackdown, says company ‘operating illegally’

“Clearly, the residents of Surrey have been waiting for Uber and other ridesharing services for a long time and now they’re faced paying legal fees. That’s just not on.”

Coverage of the fight to keep Uber out of Surrey on Globalnews.ca:

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