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Island Bridge Vote goes Today

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Currently being deabted. Here is an article from today.

Miller's honeymoon ends abruptly
New mayor denies there is any substantial risk of lawsuits if fixed link scrapped


CURTIS RUSH
STAFF REPORTER THESTAR.COM

One day after being sworn in as Toronto mayor, David Miller faced intense grilling this morning at a special council meeting to debate the issue of the bridge to the Island Airport.

Councillors challenged Miller's stance in a question-and-answer session that grew heated at times, with many of the mayor's council opponents accusing him of dodging their questions.

At the debate's conclusion, council was to vote on a decision that would either permit the 122-metre fixed link to the Toronto City Centre Airport or kill it and risk multi-million dollar lawsuits.

Miller emphasized that it is his vision that the waterfront should be for the people and not planes.

When asked about the threat of lawsuits, he said it is his understanding that "there is no real risk of liability to the city if we request the federal government to act" and ask the Toronto Port Authority, a federal agency, to amend the current contract.

When asked whether he wants to kill the airport as well, Miller responded that he wants to keep it as "a sleepy commuter airline."

He said council has approved $48 million in payments to the Port Authority to subsidize the airport over the next 10 years.

The moment the bridge is built, he said, "it is all opened up" to more jet travel.

Miller showed sympathy to the workers who would lose jobs if the bridge doesn't go ahead and referred to the CAW representatives who were in attendance.

"They should fight for their jobs," he said. "But we have to look at the overall public interest."

On the economic impact of the city's decision to kill the bridge, Miller said that jobs will be lost but that more jobs will be created in the long term with the revitalization of the waterfront.

With 14 new councillors elected on Nov. 10, many of the new members didn't have the chance to study or debate the issue previously, but Miller rejected further discussion on the issue.

"We just had a large public consultation on Nov. 10 (the election)," he said.

"It was debated throughout the election," he said. "My mandate (on his key election platform to kill the bridge) was clear and I have an obligation."

Ward 11 Councillor Frances Nunziata (York South-Weston) grew testy with Miller's responses when she asked when this issue became a key one for him, since it hadn't been an election issue for him in previous years, she said.

She wasn't satisfied with Miller's response: "You saw my work for three years."

The new mayor was challenged on the election results as well. It was pointed out to him that he was elected on other issues apart from the controversial bridge. And it was also suggested that because he garnered only 44 per cent of the vote, more than 50 per cent of the electorate doesn't support his stance on the bridge.

Time and again, Miller referred to his "mandate."

"If we build the bridge, it's (the waterfront area) going to remain an industrial area," he said.

Miller admitted he has talked to Paul Martin, who becomes Prime Minister Dec. 12, as well as to federal Transport Minister David Collenette, and said he is confident "they will respect the wishes of the people of Toronto."

With the weight of the decision before them, Miller reminded council: "It is our right to define the public interest for Toronto. I know in the end we will do the right thing."

http://thestar.ca/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1070450404517&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Time and again, Miller referred to his "mandate."
Using the same argument, Mel Lastman had a "mandate" when the city council approved the bridge under his leadership.
 

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by AdRiaN
Using the same argument, Mel Lastman had a "mandate" when the city council approved the bridge under his leadership.
Not really. It wasn't a campaign issue for Lastman.

Someone paid him some money, so he got it passed.
 

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Council votes to cancel airport bridge
New mayor denies there is any substantial risk of lawsuits if fixed link scrapped


CURTIS RUSH
STAFF REPORTER THESTAR.COM

The Toronto island airport bridge is apparently dead. City council voted tonight to cancel the project after a day-long debate. A proposal to defer the vote on the controversial link failed to win sufficient support among councillors.
The motion passed by council asks the federal government to reverse its decision to go ahead with the bridge. Prime-minister-to-be Paul Martin has suggested he will respect the city's wishes on the issue.

"I think this was a highly significant decision for Toronto," Mayor David Miller told Toronto One TV after the vote. "It chose a future for our waterfront."

Miller noted Martin has made it "very clear" he will support the city's decision.

After much rancorous debate this morning, councillors began arguing that public hearings should be held on whether to kill the bridge while others argued to go ahead today with the vote.

This motion came after much heated debate about whether mayor David Miller should try to rush through his decision to kill the island bridge.

Miller was reminded that he swept to victory with the promise for open government, and it was suggested that he shouldn't be trying to push through this decision only one day after officially becoming mayor.

Howard Moscoe was one of the councillors arguing against the deferral, saying that "this is an odious tactic to back us into a liability situation."

Councillor Olivia Chow supported a move to go right to the vote, saying that such a deferral would amount to "a waste of more money."

The fear among councillors who wanted to kill the bridge was that any deferral would play into the hands of the Toronto Port Authority and REGCO airlines, which have threatened lawsuits for damages if the bridge does not go ahead.

Earlier in the day, Miller faced intense grilling at the special council meeting called to debate the issue.

Councillors challenged the new mayor's stance in a question-and-answer session that grew heated at times, with many of the mayor's council opponents accusing him of dodging their questions.

Miller emphasized that it is his vision that the waterfront should be for the people and not planes.

When asked about the threat of lawsuits, he said it was his understanding that "there is no real risk of liability to the city if we request the federal government to act" and ask the Toronto Port Authority, a federal agency, to amend the current contract.

When asked whether he wanted to kill the airport as well, Miller responded that he wanted to keep it as "a sleepy commuter airline."

He said council has approved $48 million in payments to the Port Authority to subsidize the airport over the next 10 years.

The moment the bridge is built, he said, "it is all opened up" to more jet travel.

Miller showed sympathy to the workers who would lose jobs if the bridge didn't go ahead and referred to the CAW representatives who were in attendance.

"They should fight for their jobs," he said. "But we have to look at the overall public interest."

On the economic impact of a city decision to kill the bridge, Miller said that jobs would be lost but that more jobs would be created in the long term with the revitalization of the waterfront.

With 14 new councillors elected on Nov. 10, many of the new members didn't have the chance to study or debate the issue previously, but Miller rejected further discussion on the issue.

"We just had a large public consultation on Nov. 10 (the election)," he said.

"It was debated throughout the election," he said. "My mandate (on his key election platform to kill the bridge) was clear and I have an obligation."

Ward 11 Councillor Frances Nunziata (York South-Weston) grew testy with Miller's responses when she asked when this issue became a key one for him, since it hadn't been an election issue for him in previous years.

She wasn't satisfied with Miller's response: "You saw my work for three years."

The new mayor was challenged on the election results as well. It was pointed out to him that he was elected on other issues apart from the controversial bridge. And it was also suggested that because he garnered only 44 per cent of the vote, more than 50 per cent of the electorate didn't support his stance on the bridge.

Time and again, Miller referred to his "mandate."

"If we build the bridge, it (the waterfront area) is going to remain an industrial area," he said.

Miller admitted he has talked to Paul Martin, who becomes Prime Minister Dec. 12, as well as to federal Transport Minister David Collenette, and said he is confident "they will respect the wishes of the people of Toronto."

With the weight of the decision before them, Miller reminded council: "It is our right to define the public interest for Toronto. I know in the end we will do the right thing."

http://thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1070492625610&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154
 

new to t.o.

TRIBE Member
There was a wicked illustration in the Star about this today (Wed.), too. I looked at the massive opposition Miller faced with this issue . . . it made me think Mcguinty caved quite quickly with the Moraine issue.
 

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
With the new Terminal 1, that is supposedly going to be undrcapacity for some time, and the fixed rail link from Union to Pearson coming, why anyone thinks that the Island Airport is vital to downtown Toronto, I just do not understand.

The waterfront belongs to us. et rid of the airport all together and make it a park for all to use.
 

Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
I didn't think I could hate George Mammoliti any more than I currently did. I realize I hate him more today than yesterday. And I've never met the guy.

Go figure.
 

silver1

TRIBE Member
Hopefully the feds (i.e. Martin) will step in and support us like they promised.

Otherwise we're screwed one way or the other.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vote Quimby
With the new Terminal 1, that is supposedly going to be undrcapacity for some time, and the fixed rail link from Union to Pearson coming, why anyone thinks that the Island Airport is vital to downtown Toronto, I just do not understand.

The waterfront belongs to us. et rid of the airport all together and make it a park for all to use.
QUIMBY FOR MAYOR....

...did I really just type that?
 

mercure

TRIBE Promoter
*Crossing fingers and hoping the bridge will be killed*

I read the wording of the motion in the Star today and it's pretty non-committal legalese - only requesting the Feds and TPA to amend the agreement to build the bridge. We also have to hope that Martin lives up to his word and takes steps to pull the Port Authority into line. And even then we'll have to work out the details of just how to kill the agreement.

Sometimes I think that Medieval-era politics were better. Change your mind about that treaty? Just storm your enemie's lands with an army, torch his villages, raze his castles and sow the land with salt. Much simpler.

Edited to add this tangent: Mammoliti got his start in politics as an NDPer. Too funny.
 
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