Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum seeks to occupy righteous ground in his ongoing battle with Uber, having the city’s bylaw enforcement officers sneakily hail Uber drivers just to slap them with $500 fines and then characterizing it as merely city staff doing their jobs to uphold the law here in Surrey.
“Our bylaw officers go out and protect our laws of our city – that’s their job,” McCallum told reporters during a presser at city hall on Monday. “We have to, as a city, enforce our bylaws. That’s what bylaw officers do in our city. And so, for anyone to suggest that we shouldn’t be is actually encouraging breaking the law in Surrey.”
If that’s indeed the case, Mr. McCallum, why then were those in Surrey who terrorized their neighbours and their pets with an ongoing barrage of fireworks during Diwali and Halloween clearly not pursued with similar zeal by the city’s bylaw enforcement department?
The Now-Leader, in turn, was itself bombarded by comments from readers who were mightily displeased with the city’s lack of appropriate response to the all-hours cacaphony.
“Bang up job for the police and by-law and the city for doing absolutely nothing. Sleepless in Surrey,” wrote one angry resident. “Newton is a war zone,” wrote another.
Why the double standard? McCallum has also sought to occupy righteous ground by claiming his opposition to Uber operating in Surrey is rooted in his deep concern for taxi drivers’ ability to provide for their families. But David Clement, North American affairs manager for the Consumer Choice Center, suggests “the reality is that he (McCallum) is just trying to protect the taxi industry from competition. This is cronyism on full display.”
Under the Community Charter, mayors are tasked with providing leadership to facilitate “good governance.” Does championing one group over another, or selective enforcement of city bylaws, meet this standard?
No, we think it does not.