TPA Statement on Proposed federal regulation
TPA requests draft clarification regulation supporting pedestrian tunnel
Toronto Port Authority Chairman Mark McQueen today said that he was pleased that the federal Department of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is introducing a draft regulation intended to clarify that the Toronto Port Authority (TPA) has the authority to build a pedestrian tunnel to the popular Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
“Our passengers have responded very positively to the proposed pedestrian tunnel project,” said Mark McQueen, Chairman of the TPA's Board of Directors. “It would give them improved and reliable access to and from Billy Bishop Airport. It is time for the tunnel - originally envisioned in 1935 - to become a reality.”
McQueen described the proposed regulation as one more key step in a lengthy and detailed process that meets, and in several ways goes beyond, applicable requirements. This process included studies and public consultation as part of an Environmental Assessment to consider and assess the potential environmental effects of the proposed pedestrian tunnel (pursuant to the Canada Port Authority Environmental Assessment Regulations and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act).
The agreement between the TPA, the federal government and the City of Toronto(the 1983 Tripartite Agreement) expressly prohibits a vehicular tunnel and specifically permits a fixed link bridge.
A federal regulation was made in 2005 at the request of the then City Council, which was then opposed to a fixed link bridge, to expressly prohibit “a bridge or similar fixed link.” While the pedestrian tunnel is not a “bridge or similar fixed link” (which would include, for example, a causeway), the TPA requested the new regulation so as to provide additional clarity about the federal government’s intentions on the matter, McQueen added.
Under the Tripartite Agreement, the TPA is obligated to manage and operate the airport in an “efficient and business-like manner,” which the proposed pedestrian tunnel would do, by giving the passengers additional options for getting to and from the popular airport.
Background on the Canada Marine Act is attached.
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