Surrey City Councillor Linda Annis says the city “wasted” $41,800 in legal fees in its failed courtroom bid to block ride-hailing company Uber from doing business here.
Lawyers for both the city and Uber appeared before a B.C. Supreme Court judge in Vancouver in February to argue the merits of Uber’s application to stop Surrey from issuing the company’s drivers $500 tickets. The judge found in Uber’s favour.
Annis said the cash Surrey spent on the case “in my mind was a waste of money. We shouldn’t have found ourself in that situation to begin with.”
“Residents of Surrey have been looking for ridesharing and waiting for it for a long period of time and for bylaw officers to receive instruction from their superiors that they should call and hail cars out to Surrey only to ticket them was a waste of taxpayer’s money, a waste of utilization of staff time and, quite frankly, almost $42,000 that we should not have been spending of taxpayers’ money,” Annis told the Now-Leader. “It was just bad.”
And that was only in legal fees, she said, that did not cover “a lot of time wasted in terms of administration, in terms of having to deal with cancelling those tickets, the time the bylaws officers were spending doing this when they should have actually been enforcing bylaws, quite frankly, was not right.”