Image by James Cridland with text design by Mariel Marshall
Today the Toronto Star published an opinion piece by the man who holds the reins of power over the island airport. His name is Geoffrey A. Wilson and he is the president and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority which is asking Toronto’s city council to expand Billy Bishop airport. He claims that his aim is to “do no harm” and he certainly tries hard to strike a reasoned tone in an article that is mostly unreasonable guff.
He says we need to focus on the facts regarding the airport–a point I agree with him on. But he denies that the proposed Porter expansion will grow Billy Bishop to the size of the Ottawa airport. Of course, Billy Bishop won’t be the physical size of Ottawa. There isn’t room to physically grow a regional airport on a tiny island in our harbour–a fact that our citizen groups have been pointing out for at least twelve years.
But the proposed expansion (if it is approved by Toronto’s city council next month) means that Billy Bishop will have the capacity to have MORE passengers than the Ottawa airport per year. The proposed expansion means that 4.6 to 4.8 million passengers can pass through Billy Bishop each year. The Ottawa International airport currently has 4.6 passengers each year.
Oops! Mr. Wilson conveniently forgot to mention this very basic fact. Nor does he mention that growing Billy Bishop will bring more traffic and jet fuel emissions to an already challenged environment. I am sick and tired of our newspapers running mostly pro-expansion stories about the island airport so I am committing this blog to reporting the facts about what an expanded island airport means for the rest of us.
By the way, I live in the Annex but that doesn’t mean it’s in my interests to ignore a debate that is going to shape our city’s future and the lives of our children and grandchildren.
There are more F-A-C-T-S on this link. www.nojetsto.ca
Mr. Wilson’s opinion piece is at www.thestar.com
We all cherish the Toronto waterfront as a place to live, work and play. But our waterfront as we know it could soon be scarred by an expanded Toronto Island airport with jet aircraft. An expansion that will bring noise, pollution and more gridlock – paid by our tax dollars.
Toronto’s Board of Health, Waterfront Toronto and high-profile Torontonians and organizations have spoken out against the jet plans, but Porter is pushing City Council to give the green light even before all studies have been done.
It all comes down to how City Council votes in April 2014. By speaking out today you can do your part to save Toronto’s waterfront. Fill out the form and your city councillor will receive an email urging him/her to stop the Pearson-by-the-Lake. Sign the petition here: http://www.nojetsto.ca/take-action/