Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #49, Robert Deluce
Our annual ranking of the people whose smarts, connections and clout are changing the city as we know it
49 The most divisive man in Toronto began the year by selling Billy Bishop’s passenger terminal, then leasing it back. The deal reportedly netted the airline more than $750 million in spending money. In July, PortsToronto opened its long-awaited pedestrian tunnel to the airport, eliminating the need for the 90-second ferry ride from the mainland and making Porter flights even more convenient than they already were. Still, Deluce closes out the year with no shortage of headaches: the new Bombardier jets Porter plans to buy have run into manufacturing delays, and preliminary engineering reports on the Billy Bishop expansion plans have inflamed anti-jet activists. But both factors appear to be moot, as the new Liberal government has decided that the jets proposal is a non-starter. Given Deluce’s never-say-die reputation, he’s no doubt dreaming up Plan B.
Trying to get the new Liberal leadership on board with the jets proposition. It’s an uphill battle: local MP Adam Vaughan is ardently opposed.