Paul French Endorses NoJetsTO
Communications Specialist Endorses NoJetsTO in Statement TORONTO - Expanding the Toronto island airport to accommodate jets is, in a word, insane. The Tripartite Agreement of the 1980s banning jets from this central downtown airstrip makes even more sense today than it did then. We must fight to preserve Toronto’s waterfront for future generations from this single-minded, obtuse idea that Torontonians need jet service on our doorstep. We do not. No other city in the world has it, and for damn good reason. Let’s not make Toronto the laughing stock of the world, yet again. Jet airports and a dense urban community do not mix, especially at our city’s premier destination for recreation, relaxation and escape from the pressures of city life. The Toronto island parks and the city waterfront are a tremendous asset. Harbourfront Centre attracts 17 million people a year. More than a million visit the Arcadian splendor of the islands. Who in their right mind would sanction the whine of jet engines, the polluting film that coats surfaces (and lungs) in their path, and have low-flying jets buzz the harbour every few minutes, all day long? I have flown Porter Airlines, the proponent of destroying our downtown, but have stopped until this matter is resolved. Even though the island airport is zoned parkland, Porter has badgered and bullied and sued its way to secure a berth that now seems intractable. We will abide its turboprop planes – the ones that, when their engines are revved, I cannot have a conversation on warm summer nights in my Little Italy backyard near College Street for the noise – and put our efforts into ensuring the damage stops there. I suspect Billy Bishop, whose name was appropriated by the Toronto Port Authority from the airport in Owen Sound where the World War One flying ace was born, would roll in his grave. Invoking his name for the island airport obscures the fact that this is Toronto’s playground for life lived in liberty which he fought for, and which they would have become the sixth busiest airport in Canada. What a disgrace.