Dr. Miriam Garfinkle: Public Health Will Be Loser if Jets Win

Toronto Physicians Highlights Negative Health Effects of Planned Island Airport Expansion CD_Photo_Face_Masks_2013-11-04TORONTO - The serious health and safety impacts and risks arising from the continually expanding island airport are of paramount concern. Toronto Public Health and the Board of Health have clearly documented these concerns.The negative impacts of this scheme- increased air pollution in an already highly polluted area, massively increased traffic and congestion in an already congested area, serious concerns about water quality, noise pollution, fuel transport and storage and the risk of planes taking off and landing within a few hundred metres of homes and schools are clear and unacceptable. It is particularly alarming for the children who live, study and play in the Bathurst Quay in terms of interference with learning and short and long term health risks. The waterfront is also an intensively utilized collective space that we have already highly invested in to be used for recreational activities that promote health and fit into the city's vision of increasing green space. Why would we destroy it with an expanding airport? Who wants to see, smell and hear jets in their living and recreational space? It is disturbing that some elected city officials made up their minds in favour of expansion BEFORE these health impacts had even been studied and continue to ignore the recommendations of both their Board of the Health and the city planning officials. You, our city councillors have been elected and entrusted with the guardianship of this city for generations to come. We’re tired of the Porter/BBA gravy train /gravy plane fueled by hundreds of millions of our tax dollars in subsidies from the federal government and the city in mitigation costs and accomodation measures. If we let our waterfront be dominated by a commercial airport, people will have much less reason to come to Toronto. And we want a city to live in, not fly away from. The waterfront is our collective treasure. Allowing expansion of the airport on the waterfront would be one of the greatest planning disasters in the history of this city. Dr. Miriam Garfinkle