Andrew Spicer's Weblog - Current - Index - Email
Thanks to both my Dad and Matt H for helping with the HTML problem. Look, it works now!
Toronto Port Authority Slapped by Martin's Team
30/11/2003

So, during the municipal election, the Toronto Port Authority and other backers of island airport expansion assured everyone that the bridge was not an issue at all, since it was a done-deal and construction would begin in October. It is now nearly December and not only has there been no construction, but there are still permits outstanding.

Then, during the muncipal election, the Toronto Port Authority and other backers of island airport expansion warned voters that candidate David Miller would not be able to stop the project since city council had already voted in favour by a wide margin. It now seems that mayor-elect David Miller has plenty of votes on the new council to carry the day.

Also, during the municipal election, the Toronto Port Authority and other backers of island airport expansion warned voters that candidate David Miller would not be able to stop the project because it was subject to a "tripartite agreement". The mayor-elect has since received assurance from the outgoing Chretien government and the incoming Martin team that the will of the people will be respected.

Then, this week, the Port Authority really began to crack up. Not only have they threatened to sue the city, but they wouldn't rule out suing the federal government, either.

On Friday, they changed their mind about suing their political masters in Ottawa, but went ahead with a new form of provocation. In The Globe and Mail:

Liberal Leader Paul Martin was wrong to say he would defer to Toronto City Council on the future of the island airport bridge, according to the head of the Toronto Port Authority.

"He said it at a press conference. He doesn't know the facts. He doesn't know the file. He hasn't been briefed," Lisa Raitt, the port authority's chief executive officer and harbourmaster, told The Globe and Mail yesterday.

Later on Friday, Paul Martin's spokesman had the response. From Saturday's Globe and Mail:

[Brian] Guest countered that Mr. Martin is "fully equated with the facts" and is watching closely.

"He has indicated he will take his cue from the elected council which debated and went to the people very recently and in no small measure on this issue," Mr. Guest said. Mr. Martin will weigh in more clearly on his position after council makes a final decision and he officially takes office, he added.

Additionally, the Martin team sent this message to the Port Authority, via spokesman Guest:

"It's probably best to adopt a more conciliatory posture at this point and work with people to see what the community will choose and decide."

Translation: Shut up and accept defeat. Quit making it worse. And don't forget about Section 55 of the Canada Marine Act (i.e., the liquidation and dissolution of port authorities).

As for the various sham lawsuits threatened this week, don't expect these to go very far. A bridge to the island airport was outlawed in the 1983 Tripartite Agreement and this was only amended this fall, when the possibility of Miller victory was well-known. Furthermore, the Port Authority is still not in a legal build position as it has not obtained all the necessary permits. Any companies that have invested in the bridge have invested in a project that was never legally approved.


-permalink-

Links

.
spicer index: