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The Bridge is Over
22/06/2004

The bridge to the Toronto island airport issue is now officially dead. Well, let me correct myself. It is now more officially dead than in any of the previous deaths it has suffered.

The federal government has now proposed a regulation that would prohibit the Toronto Port Authority from building a bridge/fixed link or working with anyone to build a bridge. So, even without consent of the Port Authority, it is now dead.

Or, actually, it will be so after a 30-day public consultation, followed by an order-in-council (i.e., cabinet approval).

Of course that is after the election, so we could have a different cabinet. Not likely a problem. Here's how the National Post quoted Mayor Miller:

Mr. Miller said he is pleased with the proposal.

"I think the regulation is a very good thing," he said. "It's just unfortunate it will be another 30 days before Cabinet will approve it."

Mr. Miller said he expected the new regulations will be implemented regardless of which party wins the election.

"The Prime Minister, Mr. Layton and Mr. Harper have all made statements supporting city council's position. So I would expect this regulation would be passed regardless of what shape the next Parliament takes," the Mayor said.

Mr. Miller would not speculate on why it took six months for Ottawa to act on council's request.

"Obviously, we would all prefer it was done months ago," he said.

In a way, this is certainly weird. Why have the Liberals handled this issue so ineptly when it has seemed obvoius all along what the end result had to be?

Were they hoping to get a better deal, or what? Does someone owe someone some favours?

It just seems strange that Paul Martin wouldn't want his local MPs to be able to gain maximum credit by standing up and taking the right position as early as possible. Instead, why this slow-motion, only-as-much-as-necessary approach? The way they did this minimized their political credit and maximized the suspicion and cyncism. Dumb!


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