The battle between a ride-hailing service and the City of Surrey escalated this week.
Uber Canada Inc applied or an injunction against the City of Surrey in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday. Uber is asking Surrey to cease and desist issuing warnings and tickets to its drivers for operating in Surrey.
“Surrey’s attempt to ban Uber comprises naked political grandstanding occurring with indifference to even contempt of the rule of law,” the application for injunction states. “Uber’s success on the merits is all but inevitable.”
On Jan. 23, the province granted Uber the right to provide ride-hailing services within the Lower Mainland, including Surrey. Uber began operating the following day.
The city informed Uber if it continued to offer ride-hailing services, drivers would be fined $500 for operating without a business license.
However, there is no business license currently available, and may not be for a month. In fact, the mayor has publicly said he wouldn’t issue licenses to ride-hailing companies.
Uber drivers have been issued several warnings, and Mayor Doug McCallum said this week they would start issuing fines.
“Surrey’s plan is illegal: recent amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act and other legislation expressly prevent Surrey from prohibiting Uber’s operation,” the injunction states.
“Surrey does not have the power to prohibit Uber and Drivers,” the application states. “To the contrary, the Legislature recently amended the Motor Vehicle Act and other legislation to prevent any one municipality from thwarting transportation network services.”
McCallum has repeatedly stated that ride-hailing is unfair to an over-regulated taxi industry. He insists taxis and ride-hailing should be on a level playing field.
The injunction is scheduled to be before the court on Feb.5 in Vancouver.