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Since September 26, I have been a volunteer with the Miller for Mayor campaign. Articles before that date represent my decision-making process and all articles on this site represent my views only. Join the campaign; we need your help.
See? Jets!
08/11/2003

All through this campaign, David Miller has been saying that expanding the island airport was a back door to all sorts of other expansions. Proponents of the fixed-link always liked to say that there was just going to be this one bridge, and that's all. But the bridge leads to a new terminal, and then, if the airlines still aren't profitable enough, they are going to ask for jets. Eventually the airport will just get busier and busier, bigger and bigger.

Some people understood this clearly, and understood why stopping the bridge was so important. Others wouldn't accept that if you don't draw the line, things are going to get progressively worse.

Now, in a remarkable turn of events, everything is out in the open.

It's best if you read today's John Barber column. Here is the core of it:

Joseph D. Randell, president of Air Canada Jazz, ... seems to have had no idea what he was actually doing when he wrote to the Toronto Port Authority yesterday afternoon making an official request to open the island airport to commercial jet service.

It's all very straightforward, a Jazz spokesman told The Globe yesterday: The bridge is about to be built; the airport can't be made financially viable with our current fleet of inadequate turboprops; jets are vital to its financial viability.

Unless Mr. Randell turns out to be a skillful double agent (David Miller's shadowy brother-in-law, maybe?), he couldn't have known what he was doing. Because in political reality, as opposed to whatever spreadsheet he consulted in his Halifax office, he couldn't have done anything more destructive to the future of the island airport than to write that exact letter exactly now.

So bravo, Joseph D. Randell. Now we know that all the worst conspiracy theories -- the only things David Miller couldn't prove in his case against the bridge -- were dead right all along.

This senior aviation executive has made it all clear: Not only that jets are the logical next step after bridging the gap, but that pressure to permit them will be relentless from the moment construction on the bridge begins.

So, once again: It comes down to a clear choice. What sort of waterfront do we want? Vote on Monday.


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