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TORONTO, April 1, 2014 /CNW/ - The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) today responded to the vote by Toronto City Council to defer its decision on the Porter Proposal until 2015, pending further study, negotiations and the completion of a full environmental assessment, among other matters.
For the last several months, as a result of recommendations in the November 2013 City Report and at the request of City staff, the TPA has been actively engaged with the City of Toronto in aiding its review of the Porter Proposal to improve the utilization of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA). The TPA has provided comprehensive information, funded all City consulting reports and answered questions so that City staff could provide City Council with the information required to inform its consideration of the Porter Proposal.
As outlined on April 10, 2013, the TPA takes no position on Porter's business aspirations and has consistently maintained that it would wait until Toronto City Council had made its determination before initiating its own process to determine whether the Porter Proposal could and should be implemented.
Today TPA Chairman Mark McQueen had the following to say about the decision by Toronto City Council:
"As we understand it, Council has voted in favour of granting city staff a mandate to further study and negotiate certain elements associated with Porter's Proposal, with a view to having it formally voted upon in 2015," said McQueen. "The TPA will continue to work collaboratively with City staff on this topic - as we have done for the last several months - in an effort to provide the information that is required to better enable a decision at some point down the road. Clearly, this will require an environmental assessment, for example, as well as an updated airport design. As for the terms outlined in the report which must be 'negotiated,' the TPA will enter these discussions in good faith and with the mindset that we must ultimately do what is best for the airport, its passengers and the surrounding community. Our team looks forward to meeting with City staff to better understand their mandate from Council, their definition of 'confirming engagement with the TPA and Transport Canada' and how they see the next steps of the process rolling out."
"Last October at the Toronto Region Board of Trade, the TPA put forward the criteria by which it would consider the Porter Proposal, should Council vote in favour," continued McQueen. "These criteria were grounded in a 'Do No Harm' approach that stated that the introduction of new-technology jets could not come at the expense of the environment, the boating and general aviation communities, or our residential and business neighbours. As we enter this next phase we will continue to look at this proposal through this 'Do No Harm' lens to ensure that, ultimately, any negotiated proposal is in the best interest of all constituent groups as well as the BBTCA - an airport which is an economic driver, an important gateway and, according to 90% of Torontonians, an asset to the City."
About the Toronto Port Authority (www.torontoport.com)
The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, the Port of Toronto (Terminals 51 and 52), and Toronto's Outer Harbour Marina. In addition to moving more than two million passengers through the airport in 2013, the Port Authority provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port, and owns and operates Toronto's largest freshwater marina. The Toronto Port Authority was incorporated on June 8, 1999, as a government business enterprise under the Canada Marine Act as the successor to the Toronto Harbour Commissioners.
SOURCE: Toronto Port Authority
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