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Morning Brew: Porter's jet plans face major hurdle, relief line study ready to start, details of Bixi rescue plan due, and tunnelling for the Spadina line extension is complete

Posted by Chris Bateman / December 4, 2013

toronto skyPorter's plans to fly jets out of the Toronto island airport could be headed for trouble. On Thursday the city's executive committee, now chaired by Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, will discuss a staff report recommending council postpone its final decision on the matter until 2015. Kelly is hoping to fast-track approval by next year but he may not have enough support, reports the Globe and Mail. Should council wait until all the facts are available?

The Downtown Relief Line is a transit project in dire need of a re-brand. If you needed proof Toronto's transit discussions have become too political, the word "Downtown" in the name has been taken to mean it will only benefit those living in the city's core. In the hope of finding a better name, "Rename DRL" - a City Youth Council of Toronto initiative - is taking suggestions. Any ideas?

Speaking of the DRL, a study of the line, roughly expected to run between the core and the Danforth, could start in the new year. The process will involve transit planners developing a long list of options, including alignments and stations. It's not due to finish until 2015 at the earliest.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong will announce more details about the future of Bixi later today. It's expected the struggling bike share scheme will be shifted under the umbrella of the Toronto Parking Authority and operated by Alta Bicycle Share, the company behind New York City and Melbourne's public bicycle systems.

Also on two wheels, the bike lane between Sherbourne and the Castle Frank on Bloor is getting a facelift. A section has been painted bright green as it passes over Parliament St.

And just like that tunnelling on the Spadina subway extension is now complete. The tunnel boring machines completed the final section of cylindrical tunnel yesterday. The TTC says the giant machines will be sold as they can't be repurposed for the Scarborough project when it finally gets moving.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Flickr pool.



Skye / December 4, 2013 at 08:37 am
Call it the Commuter Relief Line (CRL). That's why it's needed the most: to ferry commuters in and out from midtown, the suburbs, and those connecting from the 905.

Since so many people classify themselves as commuters (even when commuting for play) the name should resonate with most.
Dave / December 4, 2013 at 08:38 am
Don't forget to register for our final speaker of the season. Dr. Mike Evans will be speaking about What does science say about a better healthier life. Your support this season has provided us with record attendance.
The discussion is today between 1300 and 1500, it is still not to late to register at;

Hope to see you all there.
James / December 4, 2013 at 08:55 am
Sorry artists DO NOT get to decide where there art is displayed ecspecially on public property.

Sure the piece maybe considered great by many that does not mean the artist can demand where it goes.
What? / December 4, 2013 at 09:08 am
Funny how Wynne booked this highly publicized meeting for the exact same day she had to answer to the gas plant inquiry. She flew back to Ottawa and WOW on the footage she sounded like Ford as she snapped back with comments like,

I already answered these questions

Are you done?

I've already apologized and am moving forward with a new process

Resign Wynne you screwed us out of a BILLION dollars. Whether you knew the amount or not, as a politician why would you sign something you didnt know about that costs us big dollars - hope your party enjoyed the votes. Is this how you want your money spent?
Steve / December 4, 2013 at 09:10 am
The politics around the DRL, and how apparently Robbie Boy and his brother don't have a clue about it, prove how he is not a mayor representing the City of Toronto, he's representing Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough. He's too stupid and blind to realise the people who receive the most benefits from the line are actually the people commuting from the suburbs INTO downtown.

It's a shame, really. This city could be so much greater if it had a mayor who actually wanted what was good for the city. Luckily the new mayor seems to be more open to that concept, and literate.
steve replying to a comment from Steve / December 4, 2013 at 09:25 am
and yet he's been a better mayor than David Miller
Crazy huh?
matts replying to a comment from steve / December 4, 2013 at 09:42 am
I'd like to know what you're smoking
BM / December 4, 2013 at 09:44 am
Who cares what you call it. Just fucking build something.
And...let Porter use the fucking Jets.
This city is becoming a red tape mess.
Jules / December 4, 2013 at 09:49 am
BIXI RESCUE PLAN. Finally we can all admit that it needed to be rescued and not just "ohh its perfectly fine they just need a few million dollars business as usual".

Rescue comprises responsive operations that usually involve the prevention of a dangerous situation.
Al replying to a comment from What? / December 4, 2013 at 09:51 am
She wasn't the leader then. McGinty was. And he already resigned.
Steve replying to a comment from Jules / December 4, 2013 at 10:05 am
Do you know what would help? Bike infrastructure from a decade more recent than the 50s.
Plato replying to a comment from What? / December 4, 2013 at 10:07 am
What AI said about McGuinty stepping down. Also, the PC and NDP both wanted the plants shut too.

Where's the outrage over Rob Ford wasting at least 100 million cancelling the fully funded and planned Scarborough LRT? And then sticking taxpayers with 1 billion plus tab for two-stop Scarborough subway for 20 years?

Rob Ford's Scarborough subway is Toronto's gas plant.
Tuxedo Court / December 4, 2013 at 11:17 am
I don't care what the new subway line will be called, so long as it takes me to Scarboro.
Lee Zamparo replying to a comment from BM / December 4, 2013 at 11:26 am
That would be completely irresponsible. Let's wait to get the answers to see if the airport *can* be expanded, if it will fit the plan for the waterfront, if the extra fuel can be stored safely. It would be reckless to do otherwise, not a bunch of 'red tape'.
What? replying to a comment from Al / December 4, 2013 at 11:28 am
The Party is still responsible for its actions AND guess what it's Wynne's signature on the document NOT McGuinty's. He can resign all he wants, she should too if she doesn't want to selfishly bring the whole party down for this.

Deputy energy minister Serge Imbrogno stated that officials knew in December of 2011 that the Oakville cost could hit $700 million.

She basically signed a blank cheque, and McGuinty jumped ship. As a responsible politician if you didn't know enough about an issue then don't put your signature on it.

A billion dollars of our hard earned money for this mistake - SHAME!
Sam replying to a comment from Al / December 4, 2013 at 11:31 am
So with that rational that if your no longer in office then your in the clear why are we complaining about Ford's subway. You're all convinced he's not getting re-elected, then he's in the clear too.
What? replying to a comment from Plato / December 4, 2013 at 11:34 am
Yes PC and NDP were interested in shutting the plants too as we probably all were BUT most would like a proper assessment and not a rush to sign.
Jeff / December 4, 2013 at 11:37 am
I didn't understand the full details of my credit card rates and charges at the time I signed, I don't have to pay for it.

I thought the rate must be around 5-6% now I find out its actually 24%! I am not paying for this!
Dave / December 4, 2013 at 11:42 am
Wynne quoted;

"That neither she, nor McGuinty, both as premiers and leaders of the Liberal party, had any way to determine the true costs of their own government’s decision to cancel the gas plants, both before that decision was made, and after it, until the Auditor General’s reports."

They clearly do not care about this generation or the next.
picard102 / December 4, 2013 at 11:46 am
All council needs to do is give Porter a conditional approval. If they don't address the traffic issues, and the new planes are not below the noise limit, then they don't get to move forward. If they do, then have at it.
Me replying to a comment from Jeff / December 4, 2013 at 11:57 am
Typical member of our take no responsibilty society.
Don replying to a comment from picard102 / December 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm
Why should they issue a conditional approval for what?
If porter wants new planes, I'm fine with that if they need an approval BUT Porter should be forced to commit that they are not going to increase the amount of flights flying in and out of the airport at all or more than 10%.

We need to avoid
"now we've got bigger better planes and can offer way more new routes and destinations" We don't need planes taking off and landing every 10 minutes on the waterfront regardless of how quiet they are.
Stimey replying to a comment from picard102 / December 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm
WTF - what good is a conditional pass? Its a yes or no.
James VR replying to a comment from picard102 / December 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm
Should council wait until all the facts are available? YES COUNCIL SHOULD WAIT. City council has alot of work to do and they don't need to rush a decision or waste time on conditional passes because Porter wants to rush profits and expansion.

Did the Liberals wait until all the facts were in before signing to close the gas plants? NO!
picard102 replying to a comment from Don / December 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm
Thats exactly the sort of thing you can provision for in a conditional approval. They are already limited in the number of flight slots they have, so I'm not sure how they'd propose exceeding those limits.
picard102 replying to a comment from James VR / December 4, 2013 at 01:00 pm
It's hardly rushing. They wouldn't be able to do anything until the data meet or failed the conditions set.
iBasementdweller replying to a comment from James VR / December 4, 2013 at 01:24 pm
Council don't need to wait. They can just ask iScyscraper for her expert opinion. Problem solved.
Sean / December 4, 2013 at 01:38 pm
Wynne all smiles at Toronto City Hall. Wynne all anger and embarrasement on Parliment Hill.

She's in over her head now. Go run away from your problems on rural Ontario roads. You followed McGuinty down this path, its your signature. Will she jump ship before she really has to face the outcome of this situation like McGuinty?

Atleast Rob Ford is responsible enough or foolish enough to stick around and face the music. McGuinty you lying coward!

sampellegrino / December 4, 2013 at 01:38 pm
Has Anyone Really Been Far Even as Decided to Use Even Go Want to do Look More Like?
Matt / December 4, 2013 at 01:54 pm
Running Ontario is a business. The tax payers should only be responsible for what they were lead to believe the costs were from the Liberal party anything above that their party should be raising and if they can't then the Liberal party is out of business.

They are stealing our money and mislead the taxpayers. They stole votes and seats in the cabinet because of it.

Tax payers we are not responsible for this!
We need a class action law suit against Wynne and her party. This effects us, our children and our children's children. I do not want my taxes going towards this. How much is the Liberal Party putting in? Will we see a drastic reduction in expenses from them come capaign and election time? NO.

If my personal and business taxes have to go up because of this at least give me the gratification of never having to see Wynnes face in Office, Parliment or any political relm ever again!
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