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Executive committee votes against motion for more info on island airport expansion

Further study into the effects of the Toronto island airport expansion was voted down by the city’s executive committee on Tuesday.

After hearing from a number of GTA residents who raised concerns over bringing jets into the downtown core, the committee, chaired by Mayor Rob Ford, voted against all four motions brought forth by Coun. Adam Vaughan for more information on the expansion.

They then voted in favour of receiving an update on the expansion.

During the meeting members of the public presented their concerns to the committee over the expansion, and requested further study into environmental effects, the impact on land value and the increase in noise.

Former federal Transportation Minister Paul Hellyer also voiced his concerns over the plan stating the city is already well served with transcontinental air service.

“The environmental cost is too high for something that isn’t really needed,” Hellyer told the committee.

Porter has asked the city to amend a tripartite agreement with the three levels of government that currently bans jets at the airport.

Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, support Porter’s plan. Former mayor David Miller – who campaigned against a bridge to the island airport – said Tuesday he is opposed to jets.

“It is clear that jets, and the accompanying runway expansion, violate the idea of a clean, green waterfront that Torontonians have embraced,” Miller said in a statement issued by NoJetsTO.

“The Toronto Islands are a place where families from all over this city come for their summer recreation. Our waterfront is undergoing a massive revitalization that will create literally thousands of modern green jobs.  Both of these things are put at huge risk by being under the flight path of jets.”

On Tuesday the committee also approved a plan for developmental charges, said a Leslieville tree would live on “forever,” and “deferred indefinitely” a proposal to shorten election period for both mayors and city councillors.

Financial compensation from the July 8 storm was also on the agenda.


July 8 storm
The city manager has recommended that Toronto ask the provincial and federal governments for financial assistance from the July 8 storm that dumped more than 126 millimetres of rain in 90 minutes and cost more than $850 million, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The severe storm caused property damage and flooded roads around the city, and was particularly bad in the west end.

Click here for the meeting agenda.

Developmental charges

The executive committee adopted the development charges bylaw recommended by city staff with a review of apartment development fees. Staff recommended nearly doubling development charges on new homes and condos in the fall.

The fees are collected under the Development Charges Bylaw to cover infrastructure such as new underground pipes and roads that result from the new construction.

Staff members are proposing residential development charges increase by 90 per cent.

Development charges on the average single and semi-detached home could climb to $37,457 from $19,412 and for a two-plus-bedroom apartment to $23,036 from $12,412, for example.

The executive committee approved adjustments to the 2013 capital and operating budgets.

Municipal Elections Act
The executive committee “deferred indefinitely” a proposal to shorten election period for both mayors and city councillors.

Councillors Michelle Berardinetti and Joe Mihevc had recommended that city council ask Queen’s Park to amend the Ontario Municipal Elections Act. Had it been approved, mayoral candidates would not be allowed to start campaigning until May 1 of the election year, and council candidates would have to wait until June 1.

‘Maple Leaf Forever’ tree
A silver maple tree that was said to have inspired the song The Maple Leaf Forever will live on after it was felled in a storm on July 19. The executive committee adopted a motion to reuse the salvaged wood and to develop a business case for the Maple Leaf Forever National Art Competition.

As for the part of the tree that still remains in front of a home in Leslieville, its fate is undecided. The Parks, Forestry and Recreation department will work with Heritage Preservation Services to determine the future of the remaining part of the tree.