During the last regional council meeting (February 8), Peel threw his support behind the city after Mississauga city manager Janice Baker gave an overview of the issues relating to the GTAA and the city of Mississauga.
"It's a big fight," said Mississauga Coun. Carolyn Parrish. "But I think we are on solid ground."
Last December, Mississauga quit negotiations with the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport about the plans to build a multi-billion dollar transit node at the airport until a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two sides has been approved.
The proposed hub would serve as a regional transit terminal for the western end of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, connecting trains, light rail vehicles and buses.
Despite the economic benefits an airport brings to the city, Baker said there are many challenges associated with having a federally regulated facility.
As Pearson Airport is on federal real estate, Baker said the airport is not subject to property tax. Instead, the airport is obliged to make payments instead of taxes (PILTS) based on the number of passengers.
The rate for Pearson travelers is 94 cents, which has been in effect since 2001, Baker said, and does not recognize freight traffic or inflation.
"I think it's scandalous that the roads in Malton are continually re-emerged and they (GTAA) will not even sit down at the table," added Parrish. "We have been looking for an MOU for years."
In 1997 the airport went through considerably, including three new runways and a new air traffic control tower, for an amount of $ 4.4 billion, Baker said. No development levies (DCs) were paid to the city because the changes were a federal project, although in 2006 the region received $ 4.1 million in DCs. The city brought the GTAA to court in 2000, but the case has still not been heard. 19659011]