The Toronto Star (News; page A7) reports that the Council of Concerned Residents, a citizens group that filed a court action against the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the federal government over airport noise and a runway expansion at Pearson Airport, has asked the Mississauga Council to give the group one square inch of public land in a move to strengthen their case.
According to the article, the citizens group's chair, Lawrence Mitoff, explained the group's request to the Mississauga Council, saying, "lawyers representing the airport desperately want this case dropped. They're arguing that because our group owns no property, it can't sustain any losses from airport operations, and hence we have no right to sue. Unfortunately, our lawyers are concerned this argument may prevail. This council can either make a meaningful gesture by donating one square inch of land to us, or concede that the airport authority will from now on dictate the sleeping hours, health and property values of our residents."
The article goes on to say that Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion said the city needed legal advice on the implications of fulfilling the group's request before it could answer. The request was referred to the city solicitor's department.
The article reports that the lawsuit brought by the residents group was filed in Ontario Court, general division, six months ago. A series of procedural hearings are being held to determine whether the case can go to trial. The lawsuit claims that when the airport's new north-south runway opens, scheduled for November, planes will fly just a few hundred meters over houses in the Rockwood subdivision, and will cause intolerable noise and lower property values.