Deluce Talking Jets: A Roadshow of Deception

Impressions from Robert Deluce's Push for Jets at a Rosedale Event June 12, 2013 TORONTO - Canadians value fairness and openness. And we shouldn’t expect anything less when it comes to a major urban planning decision like turning Toronto’s waterfront into landing strip for jet aircraft. Unfortunately, the man behind the jet plans, Robert Deluce, is not into fair play. For months he has been touring the city, giving speeches to business people and affluent folks that he tries to sway in favour of his jet plans for the waterfront. The problem: it’s a roadshow of deception and half-truths. Case in point: Deluce presentation’s to the North Rosedale Ratepayers Association on June 11. The format was truly undemocratic. Deluce was the only speaker, with no balancing view or any sort of defence of Toronto’s waterfront. The only way to express opposition: a highly restricted question-and-answer session at the end. Granted, this was Rosedale. Deluce’s neighbourhood. Knowing what the crowd was like, the Porter owner was waxing about how his jet plans and the runway extension would not interfere with boating on the lake (“that’s of highest importance to me”). Deluce’s presentation was anything but truthful. It’s pretty clear that the extended runway will lead to an expanded Marine Exclusion Zone (MEZ). But it’s not Porter making the call but Transport Canada. And of course the feds are staying silent on the issue. Another area of non-answers: air pollution and public health. A physician’s question about respiratory problems and other health effects was simply brushed aside with a reference to the ‘fuel efficiency’ of the plane. Deluce went back at how great the CS100s were, with better fuel efficiency. No mention that they are twice the weight, and 40% bigger seating capacity than the current planes in use. And of course noise: Deluce’s jet, the CS100 hasn’t flown yet. So the noise parameters are simply not known. But he presented his hypothetical numbers as facts. Deluce’s presentation and his responses are more remarkable for what was left out. No talk about the waterfront as the city’s biggest asset. The following aspects were also not touched upon:
  • Birdstrikes: no mention of the strong danger, with the Island being home to thousands of waterfowl.
  • Infrastructure: nothing about that would need to be created at the cost of the residents of Toronto, to enhance TTC, roads, access for emergency vehicles.
  • Water quality: what about run-off from de-icing fluids and pollution from the jets entering Lake Ontario?
  • Probable length of the extended runways: in the absence of directions from Transport Canada, Deluce continues to downplay the size of the needed extension.
NoJetsTO is working towards a Toronto where the waterfront is the shining gem. The lake is the escape for many, the lure for visitors, and a place for community. The Toronto Island is one of the great parks in the world. Harbourfront Centre alone is the destination for 14 million visitors every year. Together, we can stop the jets. We can save Toronto’s waterfront.  

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