Toronto & York Region Labour Council: Letter of Support

City's Organized Labour Reaffirms Support for NoJetsTO's Position in Letter to City Council


TORONTO - The Toronto & York Region Labour Council represents over 195,000 women and men who work in every sector of the economy. Last September, after careful consideration and debate, the Labour Council Delegates voted unanimously to oppose the use of jet aircraft at the Toronto Island Airport and call on City Council, the Federal Government and the Toronto Port Authority to maintain the Tripartite Agreement ban on jet aircraft.

The reasons for our decision then are still valid today, despite the arguments put forward by a multi-million dollar advertising campaign on behalf of the proponents of jet traffic. Allowing jet aircraft to operate from the Island Airport would be bad urban planning. It would diminish the quality of life of tens of thousands of residents who live near the waterfront. The increase in traffic in the air and on the ground would have a substantial impact on neighbouring communities. While the proponents point to one model of jet airplane under consideration, it would be very difficult to maintain a restriction on which type of jet would be allowed. The Q400 turboprop planes currently in use at the airport are built in Toronto, supporting thousands of jobs in the aerospace industry, and have a much lighter environmental footprint than jet aircraft. We wish Bombardier a successful launch of the C-series aircraft, and support the purchase of this aircraft by the many airlines operating out of Pearson Airport. However allowing one airline to replace Q-400’s with jets for new or existing routes does not help employment in Toronto. The heavy-handed treatment by Porter of its employees who were attempting to raise their wages above the poverty line was abysmal. Labour does not believe that any company should build its business plan on low wages. Yet that is precisely what is happening with a number of occupations in this carrier. The net effect of Porter’s low-wage approach is detrimental to all workers in the airline industry, many of whom are represented by Labour Council affiliates. The Toronto Port Authority has a dismal track record in relation to the City and the people of Toronto. It has not earned the confidence of Torontonian – in fact deserves to be treated with the utmost caution. Sincerely, Cartwright Signature   John Cartwright President cope 343