Surrey City Hall has been told to give a better explanation for denying a taxi permit.

Surrey City Hall has been told to give a better explanation for denying a taxi permit.

Surrey denies chauffeur permit with little explanation

Court orders the city to provide better reasons for taking a taxi driver's permit.

  • Jun. 9, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Surrey failed to adequately explain why it denied a chauffeur’s permit two years ago, a court has found.

Mohinder Singh Johal drove taxi in Surrey from 1990 to 2008. During that time, was required to hold a valid chauffeur’s permit, which had to be renewed annually.

In February 2008, Johal applied for his licence and was refused.

The City of Surrey had created a Vehicle for Hire Bylaw, whereby drivers had to meet certain conditions.

In the five years prior to applying for a permit, the driver cannot have had more than five traffic violations, cannot be convicted of a criminal traffic offense, or cannot be convicted of a crime of violence or any weapons offenses.

In its initial refusal decision, Surrey responded that Johal was being declined because he’d been convicted of impaired driving, and at another time, of a lesser charge of assault.

Surrey believed that his permit had been approved inadvertently while he was “before the courts for impaired driving and while on probation serving a one-year peace bond.”

The city was wrong.

Johal had not been convicted of impaired driving, but rather had been found guilty of driving without due care and attention. He was also not convicted of a lesser charge, but had voluntarily been placed on a peace bond.

Court documents site police records which offer more detail beginning with an incident on Aug. 21, 2006.

“Surrey RCMP responded to a report of domestic assault where Mr. Johal had kicked his wife, punched her in the head and threatened to kill her with a knife,” court documents quote of the police records.

Then on Oct. 16, 2007, police detail a traffic matter.

“Mr. Johal was operating a taxi cab (without any fares on board) and struck an unoccupied parked vehicle in the 13300-block of 84 Avenue. Police attended and arrested Mr. Johal for impaired and refusing to provide a sample,” the court documents state.

The matter was pleaded down to driving without due care and attention.

The RCMP Chief Constable recommended that Johal’s application for a chauffeur’s permit “be declined as it is not in the public interest.”

After Johal’s appeal to Surrey council, the city responded with a one-sentence resolution saying “that council upholds the RCMP decision to deny a chauffeur’s permit to Mr. Mohinder Johal.”

Surrey’s lawyer argued that the city had the corrected information at appeal and made its decision on those facts.

Madam Justice Sandra Ballance was not swayed by that argument.

“It my view, that the factual inaccuracies founding the Initial Refusal Decision and those contained in the subsequent RCMP memorandum had been clarified at the appeal makes it more troubling – not less – that the result of the appeal was articulated simply as upholding the original decision, without further explanation,” Ballance wrote in her finding.

The consequences are that Johal had no idea as to why he lost his appeal.

Surrey has been ordered by the court to give Johal better reasons for its decision to deny his permit.

If Johal is not content with that decision, he can still proceed with a judicial review.

@diakiw

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Laura Barnes is to feature some of her artwork at Gallery at Central Plaza next month. (Contributed photo)
New artist showcase coming to White Rock gallery

Laura Barnes work, mixing brights and darks, to be displayed in February

White Rock Public Library (File photo)
Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Surrey Community Cat Foundation received funding to assist with medical procedures. (File photo)
SurreyCats receives grant to assist with spay/neuter costs

PetSmart Charities of Canada donates $5,000

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

Surrey firefighters respond to a townhouse fire Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
Firefighters respond to townhouse fire in Surrey

Fire ‘knocked down quickly’: witness

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

Most Read