Toronto Sun: Group Joins Argument Against Jets at Billy Bishop

Toronto Sun Reports on Formation of NoJetsTO, Inaugural Press Conference May 3, 2013 TORONTO - A new group is hoping city council will ground the push for a study of Porter Airlines’ expansion plan. NoJetsTO came to City Hall Friday to make its case for stopping the introduction of jets at the Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island. The non-profit group describes itself as a coalition of citizens and groups aimed at opposing the extension of runways at the airport and stopping Porter’s push for jets. Last month, Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee voted to have city officials study Porter’s bid to change the Tripartite Agreement that governs the airport and have the airline foot the bill for the cost of the report. Porter has said it would be willing to pay for the report but council will have the final say next week over whether the report flies or not. NoJetsTO’s Beverly Dywan, a parent at the Waterfront School, and Anshul Kapoor, a marketing specialist who lives on the waterfront, said they want residents across the city to appeal to their councillors to stop the study. “We would like the councillors to vote against the study because we don’t want to see this go any farther,” Dywan said. Kapoor acknowledged a staff study may or may not help the fight against jets at the airport but he argued it just shouldn’t be a priority of the city. “It’s just getting a bit comical that time and time again, citizens of Toronto, city council, looks away from greater issues such as transit, such as traffic, such as how to grow our city, how to get investments in our city and we focus on these ideas — we focus on monorails, we focus on Ferris wheels, we focus on the expansion of one CEO,” Kapoor said. “Our city is worth more than that.” Local Councillor Adam Vaughan said he may have the votes on council to kill the study. “Jets are a real game changer. To crack open the Tripartite agreement for one person and one person’s private interests and to put the lake at risk as well as the waterfront redevelopment at risk for one particular person is just not something that a lot of people support,” Vaughan said. “There is a lot of concern (on council) about sacrificing Lake Ontario.” Vaughan estimated the cost of the study will soar well over $200,000 but stressed Porter should foot the bill for it. Deputy mayor Doug Holyday wants to push ahead with a staff report. “If the staff report can answer the questions satisfactorily, I think it is probably a good thing for the city,” Holyday said. “If the planes aren’t going to be anymore intrusive than what is already there, then what is the problem?” Source: Toronto Sun article

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