Greens condemn Minister Flaherty's uneconomic airport surprise

OTTAWA - On Tuesday, June 12, 2013, at an announcement to discuss the creation of the Rouge National Urban Park from which the public was banned, Federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty caught local people, the province of Ontario, and the aviation industry all by surprise when he announced plans for an airport in Pickering.

"The Conservatives seems to be flailing, and we've been left at a total loss to explain this announcement," said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, MP Saanich-Gulf Islands. "There is absolutely no economic case for building a new airport in Pickering, full stop. As Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty must know this."

Plans to build an international airport in Pickering were first floated in 1970, but have remained shelved due to both community opposition and the lack of any credible economic rationale for its construction.

"From energy to crime to environment, the Harper Conservatives have consistently demonstrated an aptitude for short-sighted policy decisions, so I find it very odd that they have now unilaterally decided that Pickering must have a new airport that even Jim Flaherty thinks won't be needed for 25 years," said May.

"As if we needed one more bit of evidence that the Harper Conservatives are stuck in the last century, while the other countries of the world are building new networks of high speed rail to move their citizens, the Harper Conservatives have attempted to commit to a new unneeded, unwanted, and uneconomic legacy project."

"We need to invest in the future, not the past," said Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner. "Minister Flaherty could help get Ontario's economy moving if he supported transit funding instead of making unilateral announcments about new airports."