No Jets - Statement on Island Airport Expansion

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 Thursday evening's formal confirmation from Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, that the Government of Canada will not re-open the tripartite agreement:

"We now 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.

More work needs to be done to ensure that existing airport operations work better in this context.  To that end, at City Hall we will continue to work with the local community and key stakeholders to complete a new Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan to guide necessary future infrastructure changes.

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.

We're pleased that the proposal will not go ahead. It's time to stop the endless debates over jets, and re-focus on improving what is already there."