As promised, the following is a brief report on the Special General Meeting held on May 30th 2013.
Our Members were provided with a very interesting presentation from NYC member Ron Jenkins who outlined his opinions regarding the proposed expansion. This included concerns about added noise, pollution and traffic. Ron also expressed apprehensions as to the navigational waters from NYC to Humber Bay, as he is worried that Transport Canada may insist on a greater degree of safety and extend the Marine Exclusion Zone. This gave rise to many concerns being expressed from the membership on this point. We thank Mr. Jenkins for his considerable efforts in presenting his interpretation of the various possible impacts of the expansion.
We then had a presentation from Robert Deluce, President of Porter Airlines. He outlined his plans and expectations as follows: he stated that the increase in noise expected by the change of aircraft would be within the current regulated noise level, and that the pollution per flight would be 20% less than the existing Q400. Since the aircrafts have not been tested, we were not given concrete numbers, but we were assured that the purchase would be cancelled if these specifications were not met. With regard to the extension of the runway, Mr. Deluce stated that he did not believe that the existing marine exclusion buoys would need to be moved, and that he recognized the importance of marine navigation in the bay. There was an extensive question and answer period, after which the Porter airlines representatives departed. We sincerely appreciate Porter’s willingness to come and speak to our membership.
Merilee Wright, Vice Commodore Marketing and Communications, then reported on the May 7th 2013 activity at City Council, and the resulting motions that were adopted. Ms. Wright has been very busy gathering information and attending meetings at City Hall and other community meetings. We are delighted to see that the City Council have included in their guidelines the clear message that the access through the Western Gap must not be materially affected. We are also delighted to see that the City Council included our recommendations to ensure marine safety unit’s access through the Western Gap would not be impeded. We feel this is a direct result of the letter we sent to all members of the City Council outlining our grave concerns regarding water access and safety in our area of Humber Bay. Thank you Ms. Wright for your efforts.
The next item on the agenda was the Special General meeting. The board had requested this meeting in order to formalize and confirm our approach to the proposed Airport expansion issue; as you no doubt can gather we had already expressed our views to various parties with some success.
We did however feel it was important to consult with our membership on this issue. Some of our members, particularly those who live close to the waterfront, are very much opposed to the airport; others believe that a downtown Airport is a benefit to the City’s economy and enhances Toronto as a center for business. I can assure you that every member I have spoken with wants us to protect our water access and try to minimize any interruptions to the enjoyment of NYC and our boating activities. This has always been our major area of focus.
The following are the results of the questions asked at the SGM:
Moved by Don Weston, seconded by Sandy Steffen, that the National Yacht Club Board of Directors take direction from the membership as follows:
Should the National Yacht Club take a position on the proposed Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport runway extension? YES or NO
YES – 79 votes
NO – 13 votes
Moved by Neill MacMillan, seconded by Don Weston, that the National Yacht Club Board of Directors take direction from the membership as follows: If YES, should the position be FOR or AGAINST the development?
Amendment moved by Doug Creelman, seconded by John McNeil as follows: “If YES, the position should affirm support of the Tripartite Agreement as currently written, and the club should communicate that support to the signatories of the Tripartite Agreement.”
FOR – 71 votes
AGAINST – 7 votes
I have not included all the minutes, these will be available should you wish to review them. No doubt you can understand we had much lively discussion and finally the conclusion is as outlined. Your board has written to the three signatories of the tripartite agreement as requested by the approved motion. In addition, as a responsible Board of Directors we will continue to protect the better interests of the National Yacht Club.
See you on the water!
Commodore, the National Yacht Club