August 3, 2017

Pickering Costs Mount


The federal government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on land it seized for the theoretical Pickering Airport 45 years ago and the costs are expected to mount as the old buildings on the sprawling piece of land age.

The Trudeau Liberals expropriated 7,530 hectares of land in Markham, Pickering and Uxbridge to build a huge international airport to replace Toronto’s Pearson Airport in 1972.

The cost of the expropriation and associated costs was kept confidential but in 1998 Freedom of Information Act provisions allowed a peek at the books.

The Toronto Star discovered that since 1998 the feds have spent more than $150 million to administer the land, including $59.2 for building repairs and maintenance. In spite of that, many buildings, which are leased for residential, business and agricultural use, have fallen into disrepair and have been demolished, according to the newspaper.

Transport Canada got saddled with property and has a legal obligation to maintain the properties.

Meanwhile, there has been no indication that any level of government is interested in building an airport on land originally purchased for an airport.

More than half of the land has been transferred to Parks Canada for Rouge National Urban Park.