TPA’s “Contributions” to Community are Bogus

Operates in secret, with accountability only to Stephen Harper.

By Brian Iler –

The Toronto Port Authority has issued a press release congratulating itself for all that it does for the recreational and residential communities its Island Airport abuts. The TPA would have the public believe these were all generously and voluntarily provided.
Not so.
Here are its claimed “contributions” to the community, and (in bold) our response:
“Sidewalk and a concrete retaining wall along the west side of Eireann Quay (adjacent to the east side of Little Norway Park)”: This sidewalk has been a contentious issue since Toronto and East York Community Council enacted a Bylaw on June 26, 2007 requiring a sidewalk be built. The TPA has dithered on this for six years. It will now be located, rather uselessly, between the airport queuing lanes and the street, rather than where Councillor Adam Vaughan, in consultation the community, wanted it, alongside the park.
“Extensive modifications to the turning radius at the ferry entrance kiosk will be made to improve traffic flow”. No benefit to the community. Only Island Airport users.
“A new aluminum fence will be installed along the east side of Little Norway Park to ensure the safety of those using the park.” This will impede access from the Community Centre and schools on the east side to the Park on the west side. There has been no community consultation to our knowledge on whether this is acceptable.
“TPA has also contributed $15,000 to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) for the installation of a fence along the east side of Eireann Quay”. The least it could do. TDSB staff have indicated they are so distressed by the environmental impact of Island Airport noise and pollution on students at the schools on Bathurst Quay that they are considering shutting them.
“Three new locust trees will be planted along the sidewalk on the western edge of Eireann Quay. These will join 30 others that have been added since 2012, which are a variety of both spruce and eastern white cedar.” All were required by the City to be planted as a condition of approval of a site plan for the tunnel construction site and temporary taxi corral.
“Seven permanent designated spots for school and community centre drop-off.” Required by the City as a condition of approval of a site plan for the tunnel construction site and temporary taxi corral.
“New taxi staging area to provide easier access for taxis and passengers alike.” No community benefit – allows even more traffic to crowd into the Bathurst Quay community.
This is the same federal agency that
Refuses to install speed bumps on Eireann Quay, as repeatedly requested by the community ‑ approved by City Council for installation in August, 2010, but delayed by threat of legal action from the TPA
Refuses to pay its fair share of property taxes to the City – more than $50M outstanding since 1999
Breaches City Noise Bylaws that prohibit construction 7am to 7pm weekdays, 9am to 7pm weekends – its ridiculously expensive tunnel construction runs 24/7.
Failed to build a run‑up facility, promised in 2010, to reduce the ear‑splitting noise from Porter engine maintenance run‑ups – that tend to occur on otherwise peaceful Sunday mornings.
Failed to establish any Island Airport noise monitoring system – as recommended by its own consultant in 2010.
Ignores its own requirement that a majority of its directors be representative of port users – most are hand‑picked, with deep Conservative roots
Disbanded its Noise Management Study Advisory Group because it didn’t like what the community had to say
Refuses to enforce the prohibition on excessively noisy aircraft
Allows commercial traffic to overwhelm the airport (and the community) when it is required to preserve the airport for primarily general aviation (private planes) use
Operates in secret, with accountability only to Stephen Harper.

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