Mayor Doug McCallum, patron saint of Surrey’s cab drivers.
Last month, we editorialized that while it’s an admirable trait to be true to your convictions, this also applies to knowing when to recognize that the only reasonable course of action is to throw in the towel.
In McCallum’s case, and the inevitability of ride-hailing, we argued his opposition to the service at this point can be likened to someone furiously swimming against the raging current of the Niagara River when they’re clearly past the point of no return.
The provincial government has told him, essentially, that ride-hailing is coming whether he likes it or not.
And yet, this week McCallum declared before a group of cabbies in Vancouver, to their joy, that he will deny ride-hailing companies business licences here in Surrey.
We argued in August that Surrey and the rest of B.C. is well past overdue for ride-hailing and our elected officials’ delayed response to permitting this popular service has made this province look like a hinterland.
Surrey Councillor Linda Annis says the mayor’s declaration on the matter is “ridiculous” and a “poke in the eye” to residents who want this transportation service.
To McCallum’s credit, he occupies righteous ground in saying he’s concerned about the negative impact ride-hailing would have on the livelihoods of taxi drivers and their families.
This is certainly not the first time this McCallum has fought against strong currents.
It will be interesting indeed to see, on the issue of ride-hailing, if the mayor will be able to hold his own or be swept over the edge by what many see as progress.