No Jets - Statement on Toronto Port Authority announcement
I was pleased to join with my Waterfront colleagues Councillors Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale), and Paula Fletcher (Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth) to issue the following statement in response to today's announcement from the Toronto Port Authority that they will stop work on studies related to the proposed Island Airport expansion:
"We heard a number of weeks ago that the Government of Canada was committed to their position to not re-open the tri-partite agreement to allow for the expansion of the Toronto Island Airport.
Today, we finally heard from the Toronto Port Authority. They have acknowledged that the tri-partite agreement will not be re-opened, and they will consequently be ending all work related to the proposed expansion of the Island Airport.
This represents the final move to bring an end to this debate. We know that Jets will not fly out of an expanded Island Airport. Full Stop.
With the formal confirmation that jets will not fly out of an expanded Island Airport, our City can now return to the work of ensuring existing airport operations better fit in with the local neighbourhood and the city. The Island Airport is already the 9th largest airport in Canada with nearly 2 million annual passengers. Meanwhile, it is located within a local neighbourhood, abutting one of our most iconic parks, Toronto Islands Park, and is adjacent to a commuting corridor into downtown which is already congested.
To be clear, the proposal to expand the Island Airport has been a dangerous one since the start. Island Airport expansion would have set back our ongoing work to revitalize Toronto's waterfront and resulted in significant environmental, health, and economic harms.
More work needs to be done to ensure that existing airport operations work better in the context of the local neighbourhood. To that end, we are working with the local community and key stakeholders to complete a new Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan to guide necessary future infrastructure changes.
At City Hall, we are excited to re-focus all our energy on working together to continue to revitalize our waterfront, and to build the neighbourhood and City we want".