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What's the Toronto Port Authority Up to Now?

Back in August, the Toronto Port Authority was proud to announce that they had reached an agreement on a fast ferry project between Toronto and Rochester, NY.

Here's what you read about the project in the Globe and Mail today:

This is the stark reality that confronts the operators of the new high-speed ferry that will soon be shuttling passengers across Lake Ontario from Rochester to Toronto. On the Rochester side, more than $100-million has been spent preparing for the launch. The city has dredged its harbour, built new roads, and is now putting the final polish on its deluxe new terminal. Toronto, on the other hand, has nothing to show for its efforts but an empty dock.

The gleaming terminal that was supposed to rise at the foot of Cherry Street still exists only on paper. The road that's supposed to lead passengers from the dock to the city hasn't been built. Bus service hasn't been arranged. Late this week, officials with the Toronto Port Authority admitted that they will be using a tent as a "temporary facility" for the ferry's start-up, scheduled for May 1.

Not everyone is happy about how this project is proceeding. Here are comments that appeared in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle last week:

However, the news that the terminal wont be ready disappointed many city of Toronto officials. The Port Authority is a federal agency.

Its their job and they should have been ready, said Toronto Mayor David Miller, who has a poor relationship with the agency and has asked the federal government to abolish it. Thats one of the reasons that the city should be running these functions. We would be doing a much better job.

Toronto Council members Brian Ashton and Gloria Lindsay Luby who both support the ferry project said its disheartening that a tent will greet tourists, especially because they want the first impression of Toronto to be a positive one.

I find it embarrassing, but well make it the best tent in the world if we have to, Ashton said.

Then, on Thursday, Rochester's newspaper was able to get in touch with Lisa Raitt, famous Toronto Island Airport expansion supporter, and reported:

When the terminal will be ready is unclear, Raitt said, and depends on approval by various government agencies in Canada.

I wonder what the problem can be? Have the other levels of government not approved construction? Or is the TPA scheming to get more money out of taxpayers? If so, maybe they should close down the money-losing island airport and save themselves a couple million every year.



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