Rob Ford sees 'no sense in waffling' on Porter proposal
Mayor Rob Ford sees no need for the executive committee to delay consideration on the proposed expansion of Toronto’s island airport until the new year, even though his deputy is pushing for such a deferral.
Porter Airlines has sought to extend the length of both ends of the island airport, so that it would be suitable for landing jets. But the airline needs to get the approval of the city, the port authority and Transport Canada to make this happen.
The city’s deputy manager has advised council in a report that there are still unanswered questions surrounding the proposal and any decision should not be made until at least 2015.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly wants to propose, at tomorrow’s executive committee meeting, to delay consideration of that staff report until January, but Ford says there’s no need to do that.
"I just don’t see the reason why we have to sit here and wait and delay it for a month … there’s no sense in waffling and that’s what’s happening here," Ford told reporters at city hall on Wednesday.
Ford used to be the chair of the executive committee, but is no longer holds that position after council stripped him of a number of powers in the wake of a drug-related scandal.
Kelly is now the head of that committee.
Meanwhile, Porter has floated the idea of a passenger levy the company says will help cover city expenses if the runway at Billy Bishop airport is extended.
Both Kelly and Ford are in favour of expanding the runway but executive committee member Peter Milczyn said there remains too many unknowns.
He plans to move a motion that will essentially kill the passenger levy idea at Thursday's executive committee meeting, and says city staff must move on to other matters.
"We've done more than enough on this Porter-initiated proposal and … all the senior city that have spent months on this now they should be concentrating their efforts on the downtown relief line and other transit projects," he said.
With files from CBC's Jamie Strashin