No jets out of Toronto Island airport, tweeted Transport Minister

No jets out of Toronto Island airport, tweeted Transport Minister

TORONTO — Canada’s new Transport Minister Mark Garneau made it official on Twitter last night: No jets out of Toronto Islands airport.

In a message tweeted out at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, Garneau confirmed after much deliberation that the Liberal government will not be reopening an agreement that would allow passenger jets to fly out of an expanded Billy Bishop airport, reports CTV News.

“I confirm that GoC position is same as LPC commitment: we will not re-open tripartite agreement for YTZ,” he confirmed in the tweet.

Earlier in the week, Jean Proulx, the minister’s spokesman, told the Financial Post the minister had yet to make up his mind on the issue, saying that “he’s consulting with officials, he’s getting facts and when he’s done that he’ll have something to announce.”

Soon after Garneau’s tweet, Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy also confirmed the news on Twitter, saying: “Confirmed! The Government of Canada will not re-open the tripartite agreement. Jets will not fly out of an expanded island airport!”

Porter Airlines, which is based at Billy Bishop, has been in negotiations to expand the airport’s runways by 200 metres on each end to accommodate Bombardier C-series jets. These jets would allow passengers to travel directly from downtown Toronto to destinations as far as Vancouver, Los Angeles and the Caribbean.

In 2013, Porter signed a $2 billion deal with Bombardier to buy 12 jets, as well as a conditional agreement to buy another 18 unless the expansion was denied.

Earlier Thursday, before Garneau’s announcement on Twitter, Porter CEO Robert Deluce said he was “encouraged to hear Garneau was reviewing the file,” reports Metro News.

“It’s premature for anyone to say ‘no’ without having the ability of the information that would help them make a rational decision,” he said.

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