Last Saturday, May 27, 2017 Andrew Scheer was elected leader of the Conservative Party. In March, 2016 he made this statement in the House of Commons.
“… A similar example would be the Toronto Island airport. My friend from Spadina-Fort York (Adam Vaughan) cares very passionately about this because he represents a lot of very rich condo dwellers in downtown Toronto who do not want the inconvenience of jets landing and spoiling their waterfront view as they wake up in the morning and drink their fancy coffee.”
Daphne Laver, a resident of 65 Harbour Square, wrote a letter to Mr Scheer shortly after his statement was published. These are some excerpts from that letter.
“So waterfront condo-dwellers are all rich, drink fancy coffee in the morning and resent their ‘waterfront view’ being spoiled by jets, huh? Your ignorance is breath-taking.
“I am one of those waterfront condo-dwellers and have been for a number of years. And your comments are ignorant in the classic dictionary sense of clearly knowing little or nothing.
“Here’s a bit of first-hand, first-person data which may begin to educate you and others on the destruction of what was once to be Toronto’s “waterfront jewel” and is now a playground for an airline that thinks and acts as though it owns and controls the entire Toronto waterfront. How perfectly appropriate that its mascot is a raccoon – a masked bandit scavenger against which Toronto has declared war, at least in town.
“Here’s a reality check for someone who has clearly never spent any time whatsoever on Toronto’s waterfront or if you have, you were wearing a blindfold and earplugs.
“This is a seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year onslaught of aircraft taking off and landing all day every single day beginning often at 6:30 a.m. and ending often long past the reputed 11 p.m. cut- off for landings. These aircraft are 6-700 feet in front of my front windows. There is no reprieve, no period of time off-limits, never one single day or night each and every week, every month, all year long and every single year this airline has been flying that we are not subject to the equivalent of a motorcycle gang parked in front of our homes revving their engines repeatedly and randomly all day and all night.
“Airplanes on Christmas Eve; on Christmas morning; on Good Friday; on Easter Monday; on Canada Day; at dinner-time; at breakfast; throughout the day; seven days a week, with never one single day of peace and quiet.
“Perhaps you are one of those who ‘love the smell of jet fuel in the morning,’ like the character in the Viet Nam era movie. Try living with it in front of your house every single day of the year, morning to night, without ever a single break. How about the taste of jet fuel in your coffee and the grime of jet fuel covering your windows and inside your home? Sound good to you?
“your sneering remarks about rich condo-dwellers” and their “fancy coffee” – that’s sweet coming from a party that protected and aided the one per centers, yet chatters out of both sides of your mouth when it suits your purpose to insult some of them. Coffee with a surface film of jet fuel – mmmmm, good! You like it? You drink it. You clearly haven’t the slightest notion of the demographic make-up of this neighbourhood and yet you astonishingly, hypocritically, use hypothetic and imaginary wealth as a way to insult us and trivialize our daily experience.
“The pollution of living beside an airport is not something anyone in this neighbourhood ever agreed to, nor the danger of a massive, above-ground jet fuel tank farm within striking distance of most of our homes. The jet fuel depot on the island in its present unsecured, above- ground configuration holds the jet fuel equivalent of 2,500 Tons of TNT. That’s an explosive, in case you lack of familiarity extends to this arena as well. Remember Megantic? Remember the Sunrise Propane explosion? No? Look it up.”