Porter expansion debate taken to Scarborough

A public information meeting on a proposal to expand Billy Bishop airport was held in the east-end tonight

It's no longer just downtown condo dwellers who are voicing their concern over Porter's proposal to expand the Billy Bishop airport and bring in jets.

A public information meeting was held in the east-end tonight, after Scarborough councillor Paul Ainslie asked staff to bring the debate to his ward. So far, meetings have only been held downtown.

About 100 people gathered at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate to hear what city staff had to say, and to ask questions about the plan.

Porter wants to be able to land jets at the airport, which would require an extension of the runway of up to 200m at each end.

Scarborough residents who attended tonight's meeting say they are Toronto taxpayers and should have just as much say about the airport as those who live downtown.

"We're taxpayers, part of Toronto, and we should have a voice in what happens to that harbourfront," says Sonya. "The harbourfront belongs to the City of Toronto, not to an airline, not to the Toronto Port Authority."

Diana is another Scarborough resident who is concerned about the proposal.

"For me, the waterfront has always been a well-kept secret," she says. "I can live in the city, feel like I'm part of the city, but I can just get away and be with nature."

She complains that the turboprop planes Porter currently uses are already too loud.

But Randy says people who are dead set against the plan are being too emotional about the issue.

"Not in my backyard, kind of stuff," he says.

"I can't see any reason to be against it at this point."

The executive committee will debate the issue at a special meeting next month.

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  1. Jerry Boyle posted on 02/26/2014 03:03 AM
    Unfortunately the meeting was stacked with downtown dwellers so the atmosphere was skewed
    1. Tim posted on 02/26/2014 05:34 AM
      @Jerry Boyle Possibly though there are a lot of people in guildwood who are against the plan. I would say it would be more accurate to say there were a few very persistent, loud people who were against the proposal. A lot of people were there just to listen.
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