Evidence of meeting #122 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was airport.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Sheri Benson  Saskatoon West, NDP
Pam Damoff  Oakville North—Burlington, Lib.
Matt Jeneroux  Edmonton Riverbend, CPC
Michael Keenan  Deputy Minister, Department of Transport
Sheilagh Murphy  Assistant Deputy Minister, Lands and Economic Development, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Jeff Knoll  Town and Regional Councillor, Town of Oakville and Regional Municipality of Halton, Halton Region
Hillary Marshall  Vice-President, Stakeholder Relations and Communications, Greater Toronto Airports Authority
Sandra Best  Chair, Toronto Aviation Noise Group
Renee Jacoby  Founding Chair, Toronto Aviation Noise Group
Robyn Connelly  Director, Community Relations, Greater Toronto Airports Authority
Arif Virani  Parkdale—High Park, Lib.
Robert Oliphant  Don Valley West, Lib.

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Thank you, Mr. Graham.

Mr. Oliphant, go ahead.

10:35 a.m.

Robert Oliphant Don Valley West, Lib.

Thank you all for being here.

Thank you particularly to TANG for their long-time engagement on this issue. Also, thanks for helping us as MPs understand this issue quite at depth and with a really fact-based approach that has helped me a lot.

There must be some amusement on the opposition side to see all the government folks here attempting to solve a problem. I've been on that side during this issue and I've been on this side during this issue, and I recognize that the reality is that we have a system of oversight that is completely out of the hands of what we're trying to do as elected officials. It was there when I was in opposition and I was attempting to get to the government, and the government is now on this side. It must be amusing for them.

I'm looking at TANG particularly. Is there a model of oversight you have envisioned that could make this more responsive so that consultation is real, elected officials have insight and impact in it, and citizens' groups actually have a say, without treading upon safety and issues that I know you care about?

10:35 a.m.

Chair, Toronto Aviation Noise Group

Sandra Best

There are a number of things, and I'll certainly defer to Renee on this one.

From my perspective, because these are two private companies, they are not subject to freedom of information, so we do not know in fact how decisions are made. If the government makes a decision, we know. If NavCan tells us they can't do this for safety reasons and they can't fly this way, but then two or three years later it's doable, if we had known in the beginning how that decision was made and we had insight into that....

However, they're private companies, so our level of oversight would involve some access to freedom of information that would allow our elected MPs, especially, to understand how NavCan and GTAA makes those decisions behind closed doors. That is the key.

When we find out after decisions are made, there may be consultation, but it's a fait accompli.

10:40 a.m.

Don Valley West, Lib.

Robert Oliphant

The example of that for me would be runway usage.

10:40 a.m.

Chair, Toronto Aviation Noise Group

Sandra Best

Exactly.

10:40 a.m.

Don Valley West, Lib.

Robert Oliphant

If you have some ideas on runway usage that you could get to us, then we could look at how we can actually make that happen, because I think you have some good ideas there.

10:40 a.m.

Founding Chair, Toronto Aviation Noise Group

Renee Jacoby

I'd be happy to answer that.

We actually brought a few slides if you'd like to refer to them. I can point those out so that they bring up the examples you were speaking about.

The first slide was our background information. I'm going to go on to the second slide.... I can't, and I don't know why.

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

I'm sorry. Your report will be distributed to the committee.

November 27th, 2018 / 10:40 a.m.

Founding Chair, Toronto Aviation Noise Group

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

We're looking at a new system here, but I think that doesn't really work so well.

10:40 a.m.

Founding Chair, Toronto Aviation Noise Group

Renee Jacoby

Okay.

MP Oliphant mentioned that we were fact-based, and that is important to us. We know that aviation issues are emotional and very personal, and at some point we have to remove the emotion from that and somehow come to a solution.

I have heard in the previous hearing—and I thank MP Block—that we are of the opinion that beyond the emotion we have to have good data to find a solution. As a fact-based group, we have done that. We have our material showing you our noise terminal readings and how incredibly high they are at 20 kilometres away from the airport. The highest reading that was taken was at Spadina Road and St. Clair, for those of you who know the Toronto area. It was 81 decibels, far higher than many in the Mississauga and Oakville areas or areas close to the airport. In addition, we've done runway utilization.

I would like to point out that what we brought today is only part of a very large PowerPoint presentation that was presented on May 25 at MP Oliphant's invitation.

Just to follow up on the lack of response, that presentation was done on May 25 and we have yet to have a response from CENAC.

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Okay, thank you very much.

The bells are ringing for a vote.

Mr. Liepert, you had a comment.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Yes.

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Can we continue for a couple more minutes?

10:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Mr. Liepert, go ahead.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Madam Chair, I think it's important that I make a comment following Mr. Oliphant's comments. I am not sure if we're still televised, but I do not want anyone, in any way, to misinterpret what was said, that this side of the table is not taking this issue seriously.

I know Mr. Oliphant is not a regular member of this committee, but we did have a number of witnesses—Calgary Airport Authority and others—whom we spent plenty of time questioning.

We recognize that our panel this morning is very localized to the GTA, and there are six GTA area MPs at the table, so our intent here this morning was to allow plenty of time for GTA area MPs to question the panel, which is all localized. I want to put that on record.

I am not suggesting Mr. Oliphant said that. I just don't want an interpretation to be made that somehow we aren't taking this issue very seriously.

Mr. Oliphant, just for your information, I represent a riding in Calgary that is a 30-minute drive from the airport. Because of a new runway, Nav Canada has changed the flight path, and in fact, on our week break two weeks ago, I held a town hall meeting with Nav Canada, airport authority folks and residents. So it's a big issue in Calgary as well, in a riding that never believed the MP would ever have issues with aircraft noise.

I just want to put that on the record, Madam Chair.

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Thank you very much.

It is 10:44, so I am going to have to end the meeting, unless anyone wants to continue for another 10 minutes or so. I think everybody has had enough, since we started at eight o'clock this morning.

I thank all our witnesses so very much for coming. Thank you to our airport authorities for working very hard to try to find solutions together with the community.

Thank you to the members for their great co-operation.

The meeting is adjourned.