Federal Government Privatizes Land Near Waterfront Without Public Input

 

 

Today the Toronto Port Authority announced the sale of federally-owned land a block away from Toronto's waterfront to a developer without any community input. Instead of giving the public the chance to weigh in, the far-reaching decision will now prop up the Port Authority’s airport operations.

“It’s disappointing to see the Port Authority engineer a backroom deal without any public input,” NoJetsTO Chair Norman Di Pasquale said. “A public asset is being sold to finance the Port Authority’s Island Airport operations – and potentially another push for expansion.”

In a public statement, the Toronto Port Authority said would use the cash - a whopping $96 million - to pay down debts, which stem largely from the airport pedestrian tunnel, runway resurfacing and the recently completed run-up enclosure - massive investments that could facilitate airport expansion.

“It’s simply not good governance to cash in public assets without any public input or mandate,” Di Pasquale continued. “Just a stone throw from the waterfront and Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, the 30Bay Street property holds enormous potential – but is now privatized.”

The land transfer, which includes federal property previously not owned by the Port Authority, raises additional questions about the agency’s land holdings in the Port Lands. The TPA's letters patent had to be amended to allow the land transfer.

“We are seeing a bad precedent here – an unaccountable Port Authority is selling public assets without any regard for waterfront renewal or local planning,” the NoJetsTO Chair added. “We call on the government to put the transaction on hold and let the public weigh in on the future of the site.”

NoJetsTO is the largest group dedicated to preserving Toronto’s mixed-use waterfront and a regional Island Airport. As a citywide residents organization, NoJetsTO opposes the expansion of the Island Airport through jet aircraft and extended runways.

– 30 –

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Tim Ehlich, NoJetsTO Vice-Chair, 647-468-3641 or media@nojetsto.ca