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It's Time to Sink the Toronto Port Authority
19/12/2003

According to today's Globe and Mail, the Toronto Port Authority is demanding millions in compensation for cancelling the bridge to the island airport. Some of the claims are completely outrageous.

First, the Port Authority claims that it has spent between $6-7 million "in recent years" on preparation for construction, including environmental and traffic studies. Some of the more recent of these may be legitimate if they were undertaken after the city and federal governments made their commitments.

Next, the Port Authority is looking for thirty million bucks to pay for a new, larger, fast ferry to close the gap between the island and the shore. Why the City should have to pay for this is beyond me, especially after handing over $48 million to settle the TPA's bogus lawsuit.

In addition, the Port Authority wants $1-2 million per year for up to 30 years if they keep losing money. I suggest bankruptcy instead.

Finally, the Port Authority wants the City to assume the responsibility for outside commitments it has made. For example, the TPA signed a contract on October 31 -- 10 days before the election, when David Miller was leading in the polls -- committing it to construction. In other words, when the deal looked like it was in jeopardy, the Port Authority and AECON tried to force the matter before it was too late. This seems like reckless behaviour to me, and I think that the TPA board should be held personally responsible for this.

David Miller has it right. "We know what our big goal is, which is to have a vibrant waterfront and ensure its redevelopment. If the port authority is going to get in the way, they should go."


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