EVE-LYNN SWAN The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Mayor Dave Barton and Regional Councillor Gord Highet voted, alongside their north Durham neighbours, in favour of a Durham Regional Council motion, resolving to “advise the Government of Canada that it supports, in principle, the development of an airport on the dedicated federal lands in the City of Pickering” at the April 24th meeting, in Whitby. The motion passed, with 21 in favour and six opposed.
The motion was introduced by Pickering Mayor David Ryan, under Other Business, and did not appear on Regional Council’s published agenda, catching long-time airport objectors, Land Over Landings, by surprise. The group called the motion “a farce” on their Facebook page.
Prior to the vote, Clarington Councillor Joe Neal attempted to table the main motion to the next Council meeting. Uxbridge’s representatives were two of nine Regional Councillors who voted in favour of the request.
Commenting to Uxbridge Council, at the administration committee meeting on May 6th, Regional Councillor Highet stressed the “in principle” portion of the motion and noted he said Pickering is tired of the airport issue and needs a decision. “Pretending nothing will happen, ever, that’s wrong,” said Highet, adding, if the airport isn’t built, “let the farmers move back.”
Mayor Dave Barton also emphasized the need for a decision, but cut short his explanation, saying, he will be releasing a statement soon.
During question period, both Councillor Highet and Mayor Barton reminded attendees they don’t represent Uxbridge at Regional Council. Highet concluded, “We act in the best interest of all of Durham Region.”
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