With Chaos at Pearson, Travelers Need More Options
Toronto, ON - Today, candidate for Prime Minister and MP Pierre Poilievre announced his plan to remove the gatekeepers and increase competition by committing to approving a future proposal for Billy Bishop airport to expand its runway so jets can fly in and out of downtown Toronto.
Pearson International Airport is chaos. It’s so bad, Air Canada has had to cancel scheduled flights. Meanwhile, Toronto’s downtown airport wanted to expand - but gatekeepers stood in the way. Toronto island residents and waterfront condo owners opposed expansion. And Trudeau’s Liberals took their side, coming out against plans for a longer runway just after getting elected, leading to less competition, less choice, less revenue, fewer jobs, more traffic, and more pollution.
“Travel at Pearson is a mess right now”, said Poilievre. “There could have been way more flights out of Billy Bishop airport in downtown Toronto, meaning more competition and more choice, but the dreadful gatekeepers wouldn’t let it happen. I will reverse Trudeau’s decision to side with them and allow jets to fly in and out of Billy Bishop airport to give people back control of their lives”.
As Prime Minister, Pierre Poilievre would direct his transport minister to remove the gatekeepers and open the skies to competition, encouraging Porter Airlines to put the airport expansion proposal back on the table. His government would advise the city of Toronto and PortsToronto that it would approve a proposal to extend the runway providing the project is self-financed so that taxpayers would not have to pick up the costs. A Poilievre government will also move to reopen the Tripartite Agreement with PortsToronto and the City of Toronto, with the intention of allowing jets to operate out of the airport.
“This project would increase competition, shorten commute times, reduce gridlock, create 2000 paycheques, and inject $55 million in tax revenue”, said Poilievre. “It’s a win, win, win, win, win. So of course, Trudeau sided with the gatekeepers who fought tooth and nail to stop it. Let’s expand Billy Bishop Airport and open competition in a country where the sky's the limit” said Poilievre”.
Currently, Turboprop aircraft are permitted to land at Billy Bishop Airport, so Porter Airlines schedules shorter flights suited to these aircraft. In 2019, Billy Bishop was the 9th busiest airport by passenger traffic, serving 2.8 million guests. With jets, Billy Bishop could expand to over 4.8 million passengers per year, the equivalent of the Ottawa airport. If the gatekeepers got out of the way, and the expansion was back on the table, it would create 2000 new jobs, and all the new routes would take pressure off overstressed Pearson airport.
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