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2003 Municipal Election: New bridge critical for island airport -- Star to back Tory?

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Is the Star about to back Tory
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Nov. 2, 2003. 01:00 AM
New bridge critical for island airport


For months now, the proposal to build a bridge to the Toronto island airport has been one of the most contentious issues in the current mayoral race. Opponents, who for years have fought the bridge and the very existence of the airport, see the election as a final shot to stop construction.

The bridge would replace an aging passenger and car ferry to the airport. It would be built at the foot of Bathurst St., across the Western Channel and is necessary to increase operations at the airport.

Critics, led by Community AIR (Airport Impact Review), comprised of waterfront and island residents, have launched a major public relations blitz charging the bridge, and any subsequent increase in flights at the tiny airport, will ruin the Toronto waterfront.

They contend the bridge will lead to more pollution, more noise and more traffic. They also claim, without any proof, that the bridge will mean commercial jets will soon be flying into the airport, alleging that will risk lives in downtown office towers and waterfront condos. Last Thursday, Community AIR also sought a court injunction to stop the bridge.

It is time to end this fight.

City council has voted three times in recent years to approve the bridge. Repeated studies have indicated that no serious environmental damage will occur because of more flights into the airport, or because a bridge is built. If the bridge is stopped, then Toronto's economic future will be hurt. At risk are economic growth for Toronto's downtown core, and jobs.

Toronto is unique in having a commuter airport on the doorsteps of the downtown core. The airport has been underutilized for a decade, and the lack of a bridge is one reason why. Last year, businessman Robert Deluce proposed to make the airport the hub of a new airline that would fly to 17 cities in Canada and the U.S. His plan would bring the number of takeoffs and landings up to 116 a day, far short of the maximum allowed.

David Miller, who is now the front-runner in the mayor's race, is the only one of the four major candidates to oppose the bridge. He has skilfully used that stand to separate himself from the crowded mayoral field.

While Miller opposes the bridge, many others support it, including his rivals Barbara Hall and John Tory. And last week, a coalition of political, business and union leaders, including Mayor Mel Lastman and Board of Trade president Elyse Allan, issued a public letter backing the plan.

"A revitalized downtown airport will help maintain the integrity of Toronto's core," they said in the letter. "The GTA is losing businesses and residents to suburban municipalities, and a strong, integrated transportation network, of which the TCCA (Toronto City Centre Airport) will be part, will be a catalyst for further development downtown."

They rightly point out that there will not, and should not, be jets or runway extensions. And flight paths should continue to be over water, not the wall of condos now lining the waterfront or the downtown office towers.

Indeed, there is a solid case to be made for the bridge. Not only will it allow airline passengers easier access to the airport, but it will also allow direct access to the island for emergency vehicles, such as fire and police.

What is clear is there's a need for the airport bridge. Let's see it take off.


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:tup:
 
Re: New bridge critical for island airport -- Star to back T

Don't forget the star's position on the union members employed by Bombardier at the deHaviland plant. I suspect that, not "rational issues", is the ultimate explaination behind the editorial support.

GB
 
Re: New bridge critical for island airport -- Star to back T

It would be sad if all three or four Toronto papers endorse Tory.

Tory will continue the Lastman agenda at city hall, and will not be a real change that Toronto needs.

EDIT:

I just realized! Tory is all things to all people! No wonder why it looks like he will be endorsed by every daily newspaper! He's a conservative with a social concience! All hail Tory! He will be SO much different than Lastman!
 
Re: New bridge critical for island airport -- Star to back T

Toronto is unique in having a commuter airport on the doorsteps of the downtown core. The airport has been underutilized for a decade, and the lack of a bridge is one reason why.

How much time and inconvenience does the ferry add a trip from that airport? I don't see why, with a schedule well matched to aircraft arrivals and departures, it should add much time at all. The crossing takes less than a minute doesn't it?

Why was the airport much busier in the 80's, without a bridge? How can the lack of a bridge now be a reason for the drop in use? It's not like the commute to Pearson has become a lot shorter in comparison.

I expect that airport is just not cometitive, bridge or not. We can build that ugly bridge and the airport will still flounder, but the city will be 60 million dollars poorer.

Vote Miller!
 
Re: New bridge critical for island airport -- Star to back T

Why was the airport much busier in the 80's, without a bridge? How can the lack of a bridge now be a reason for the drop in use?


well, the ferry was newer back then so it must of taken "1" second less to get to the airport. :lol :lol :lol
 

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