Residents of Canadian municipalities have felt hopeless and frustrated in the past, being told by various government representatives that the control of the siting of telecommunication towers is out of the municipal domain. Until now, the message has been that Industry Canada has the final say in where a tower can be placed.
In an e-mail today from the President of the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities), changes to Canada’s antenna siting policy were announced. This is an important development, and the e-mail can be viewed in its entirety here.
This potentially gives some more power to municipalities. As residents, we need to move forward from here and ensure our elected representatives work to update and strengthen the Town of Oakville’s interim protocol, and stay firm on the 200 metre setback which is also outlined in the FCM/CWTA joint protocol template.
Consider e-mailing or calling your local councillor today. What are their thoughts on the developments and what are they willing to do to in light of this news to ensure a more robust Town protocol? What are the implications for existing towers? What about antennae on buildings and hydro poles? There are still a lot of questions to ask and a lot of work to be done.
The industry is changing daily and we need to be willing to act to keep the focus on this issue to protect the residents of towns and cities like ours right across Canada.
So many people helped behind the scenes to make this happen and we want to thank everyone who wrote letters, spread the emails, signed the petitions, talked to others and did not turn a blind eye. This is what makes Bronte a great community — people who care and who are willing to take action! Thank you all.
While we thank our supporters, we remain committed to ensuring Bell and other Telecommunications companies adhere to the protocol between the CWTA and FCM to refrain from siting cell towers within 200m of sensitive land use or residential areas. As a community we should remain informed and vigilant to allow progress within the telecommunications industry but not to the detriment of community members’ health and safety.
We thank C4ST (Canadians for Safe Technology) for their support and resources throughout this process. We also thank BVRA (Bronte Village Residents Association) for helping disseminate information to the community. We thank all levels of Government for hearing our concerns and ideas and lending their support on this very important issue. Especial thanks to our local councillors led by Ralph Robinson to bring all parties to the table to work toward a solution.
Finally, we also would like to thank Mike Dimitrovski, property owner at Drago’s Auto Body, for listening to the concerns of the community and being open toward a progressive solution.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all those in Bronte and beyond who have supported us this year. We know our message can be hard to hear at times, probably even harder at this time of year. We live in a great place full of amazing people who look out for each other and care enough to listen. We think this is worth preserving! Everything we are doing is to help keep our communities, those who live in it, and those closest to us safe.
With thankful hearts, we wish you and yours a beautiful holiday season and hope you can take some time to enjoy everything that is good in life.
See you in the New Year!
Update! We are thankful to have the support of our Town Councillor, Ralph Robinson, who has signed the petition.
If you have signed the petition, THANK YOU! Please share it with those you know and urge them to sign as well. We need more signatures. We are on twitter and Facebook, tweet the petition, share it with your friends.
If you haven’t signed the petition yet, please take a moment and add your name. It is so important that we don’t stay silent on this issue.
The Honourable James Moore:
I am writing this as a personal plea for help in a very serious matter that involves not only my daughter, who is fighting for her life after a bone marrow transplant, but the safety of all children and families who live in Bronte and within a close proximity to where Bell Canada plans to erect a new cell phone tower at 3135 Lakeshore Road W. in Oakville, Ontario.
While Bell Canada says no public consultation is required since what this telecommunications giant plans to erect is a 14.9 meter tower, below the limit of 15 meters, and claims Electromagnetic Radiation is within Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 – cell phone towers in close proximity to residential areas have become a burning issue around the globe. Just google cell phone towers, and a number of news stories appear with heart-wrenching stories of families diagnosed with cancer after these towers were erected near their homes. In one particular story, within four months two brothers were diagnosed with brain cancer, while even the family pet was inflicted with the disease.
Through research by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), The World Health Organization has now classified Electromagnetic Radiation as a Class 2B carcinogen or possible cancer-causing agent. Eighty countries use standards set out by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which claim to keep us safe. But while study after study show no demonstrated short term effects of electromagnetic fields on health, the scientific community agrees there are still open and serious questions on long-term effects. That is why countries like Switzerland have clamped down and set limits that are below the ICNIRP standards, especially in areas where there are classrooms. And on Sept. 1, 2012, India set electromagnetic frequency exposure limit for all mobile phone base stations to one-tenth of the existing ICNIRP standards.
Bottom line is we cannot afford to take chances with the health of our citizens. In the end we all pay, especially our strained health care system. I beg you to visit the cancer ward at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto, where my daughter was a patient for five years, after contracting Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 9. The eighth floor is cramped with children suffering from this dreaded disease, and though the miracle doctors saved my daughter’s life with a stem cell transplant, many others never make it. In Oakville alone, a school friend of my daughter’s contracted Hodgkins Lymphoma and passed away. Right next door, her neighbour’s son was also diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and died. I ask, is this a cancer cluster? I think so, as there are others.
Ten years later, my daughter is now a patient at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, after being diagnosed with leukemia. The doctors have again saved her life, this time with a 10 out of 10 bone marrow match through Canadian Blood Services One Match. But we are not out of the woods yet.
Thanks to research, doctors are finding protocols with better outcomes for cancer patients. Research in time will also uncover why so many more young people are being inflicted. Skye begs you all to have a heart, to think of her long journey and to protect all the children who could be adversely affected with decisions which may seem right now, but could be wrong in the long term.
Yes, our economy thrives on technological advancements that allow us to communicate in a nano second and enjoy spectacular entertainment. Even my family is a customer of Bell and its new FIBE TV. But I ask, can we not find locations more suitable for these cell phone towers than a residential area? My home is located in ground zero. I ask, profit at what price?
Thank you for listening, and please heed my plea for help.
Freelance journalist, radio commentator and former Money Editor, Sun Media
VP, Marketing and Business Development, Cambria.
(a pdf of this letter can be found here: lindaleatherdale.pdf)
If you missed us at the Bronte Village Mall on Saturday November 16th, you can now sign a copy of the petition online.
Thanks to everyone who came by, shared their concerns and added their voice to this very important issue that is happening not only in our community, but in communities like ours right across Canada.
Special thanks to the Bronte Village Residents’ Association (BVRA) for inviting us and helping to raise awareness in Bronte (for anyone interested, annual membership with the BVRA is only $20 per household).
We live in a wonderful community, let’s keep it that way! Please sign the petition now if you haven’t done so already.
We plan to have more events in the community. Stay tuned!