Last night I attended a public consultation at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute in Scarborough on the proposed Billy Bishop Airport (Toronto Island Airport/YTZ) expansion, hosted by Ward 43 (Scarborough East) Councillor Paul Ainslie, Ward 44 (Scarborough East Councillor Ron Moeser, and Ward 38 (Scarborough Southwest) Councillor Gary Crawford. Representatives from NoJetsTO, the City of Toronto, Toronto Port Authority, and Porter Airlines were all present to examine how the issue of YTZ is relevant to Scarborough, and Toronto as a whole (beyond just the local discussions of the waterfront community).
It was nice to see David Sokancki out, as he and I were surprisingly the only mayoral candidates present.
In addition to making a formal statement on the NoJetsTO website, I have also written two entires thus far on the various considerations involved in City Council’s forthcoming decision on whether or not to permit YTZ to expand its runways in accommodating CS100 jets (Read Part 1 / Read Part 2). So I won’t expand on that here, but it was reassuring to see citizens out to ask questions and raise issues that matter to them, coming from all sides of the argument. It seemed as though no one in the room, including me, was necessarily saying “No Jets Forever” so much as ensuring, as Councillor Moeser pointed out, that the costs and benefits are weighed, especially in the larger picture with respect to the health of Toronto’s waterfront. Or, as I said:
This issue is not about today or tomorrow, but the next 50 years, and I’m confident that in the end, everyone does want what’s best for Toronto. Otherwise no one would have been in attendance at the consultation.
But in the meantime, we await the City Council Executive Committee on YTZ on March 25.