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Port Authority sues CommunityAIR

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According to the CBC, the Toronto Port Authority has filed a $3-million lawsuit against CommunityAIR, (the group that helped stop the bridge to the airport) and some of its members for defamation. The article states, “In its statement of claim, the federal agency alleges it has been defamed by members of Community Air, a non-profit group that has been highly critical of the dealings of the federal agency over the years.”

John Barber of the Globe and Mail wrote a column about this today [you can also download a PDF of the column if you can’t get into the Globe’s website]. He claims the lawsuit is worth $6.8 million when you include the seven directors also included in the filing. He also says, “The lawsuit also demands an injunction preventing the volunteer activists from making any more allegedly defamatory statements about the federal agency — a category of speech, according to the wide-open statement of claim the authority filed in court last week, that would seem to include every public statement any of the activists has ever made in this hotly contested, thoroughly aired, public debate.”

Obviously, the timing of the lawsuit is “coincidental” with a federal review of the authority’s dubious activities, with a report to be handed down in September (just in time to make the island another election issue for Mayor Miller. As a side note, I wonder how Lady Jane Pitfield will react to this announcement).

Spacing’s managing editor Dale Duncan also pointed out to me that the TPA’s lawsuit actually may help CommuntiyAIR — if the TPA lawsuit is not won, then CA’s claims will have been vaildated by the court.

I also wonder if anyone can sue the Port Authority for misleading the public in their commercials that are airing on Toronto radio stations (and the misuse of public funds)? The TPA also doesn’t seem to want to publish a press release about the lawsuit, but you can read all about how the they loaded six 80-tonne Electromotive locomotives aboard the Jumbo Line’s Daniella (see below). Wow.



  1. Something needs to be done about the TPA. It is about time someone told them to take their paperclips and leave the city.

  2. They are surreally, impossibly dickish. Dicked up beyond rational explanation.

    (Can they sue me for that?)

  3. I don’t think so. For example, I think you’d have to call them LIARS or DIRTY, FLESH-EATING POND SCUM for not revealing what they do behind closed doors with taxpayers money against the will of the people of Toronto, or something along those lines.

  4. The Toronto Harbour Commission board members drink pig’s blood in rituatlized ceremonies. In front of children. Bring em on.

    I called / e-mailed Lisa Raitt, other members of the Harbour Commission, my Member of Parliament and the Mayor / My Councillor about this. I think it’s an outrage, and I encourage everyone to contact politicians and the Harbour Commission directly.

  5. I also wonder if anyone can sue the Port Authority for misleading the public in their commercials that are airing on Toronto radio stations (and the misuse of public funds)?

    Please explain exectly how the Port Authority’s advertiesments have “mislead” the public. While their presentations contain may contain some questionable details, in particular their claim to incorporate the long history of the Toronto Harbour Commission, the central claims of their ads seem beyond dispute. In one of their ads, they point out that they maintain the harbour; whether or not the Toronto Port Authority existed, someone would have to do this work. In the other ad, they point out that the medical evacuation flights and the blood and organ shipments that pass through Toronto City Centre Airport play an important role in the city’s health care system. If you can explain how either of thses claims misleads the public, please do so.I agree that in a perfect world, we would not have lawsuits of the type the Toronto Port Authority has launched. I have posted my thoughts on the subject at more length in my own web log.

  6. John > you obviously do not understand the term “tongue in cheek”. Of course you can’t sue them for their ads! C’mon.

  7. Mr. Spragge has commented on my post about the lawsuit as well. He’s a pilot, so I can understand his attachment to the airport, but Buttonville isn’t TOO far away for recreational and small plane activities.

  8. Whatever attachment I feel to Toronto City Centre Airport does not change the facts of the matter. The importance of the medical freight operations at Toronto City Centre Airport, as well as the environmental justice problems involved with moving passenger traffic from City Centre to Pearson, amount to matters of public record. So does the miserable failure of all our elected leaders, agencies (including the TPA), and interest groups to have any kind of real discussion about Toronto’s transport needs, and about the best, most cost effective, environmentally benign, and environmentally just ways to fill those needs.

    Just to add a couple more facts: the GTAA, which operates Buttonville Airport, does not expect it to remain viable past 2010 or 2015, given the current development pressures. They plan to build another reliever airport at the Pickering site, which would destroy some of the last farmland in the GTA, drive development toward the Morraine, and ruin the heart-breakingly beautiful little villages of Green River and Whitevale.

    Mattew: I directed my comments not at the proposal to sue, but at the implication that the TPA had published misleading or dishonest statements in them.

  9. I say we launch a giant petition…whether or not there’s been one already who cares. Let’s DO IT!