As Porter Airlines’ president and CEO has made clear, it is Porter that is asking the City of Toronto to amend the Tripartite Agreement to allow Porter to fly Bombardier CS100 jets from Billy Bishop Toronto Centre Airport (BBTCA).
As PortsToronto has made clear, it will make its decision when the city has reached its decision.
So, just to be sure everyone is clear, a privately-held company wants to make a deal with the city, a deal that would allow the company to expand its operations and, presumably, its profitability. What’s not too clear is what’s in it for the city.
Enter the business-centric mayor and especially his business-oriented, fiscally adept council allies, boosters of BBTCA’s expansion.
We already know there are councillors who oppose the proposed deal based on their hope to develop Toronto’s waterfront for non-industrial uses, unlike that which the airport embodies.
But what about those councillors who will make a decision based primarily on what’s good for business?
Have they asked for a thorough, independent cost-benefit analysis (aka benefit-cost analysis) of the BBTCA expansion? Apparently, Transport Canada thought the matter important enough that the ministry produced a guide for their own projects. Toronto taxpayers deserve no less than a thorough, independent cost-benefit analysis of the BBTCA expansion.
Do they know how much Waterfront Toronto’s development plans, once they are completed, will bring into city coffers, without and with BBTCA expansion?
Do they know why they want to get in bed with an entrepreneur who’s betting on a struggling aircraft manufacturer?
Do they know even if this is a good deal for the city?