Resident expresses concern over cell towers

A pair of proposed cell towers has a group of residents up in arms.

A proposed Rogers cell tower to be erected on the Home Hardware property on the south side of town, and the extension of an existing Telus tower, has a group of residents up in arms over the potential harm they believe will be caused to the immediate residents and workers in the area.

Inge Clapperton appeared before council to outline her concerns with the Rogers and Telus cell tower proposals, and the effects that electromagnetic radiation/radiofrequency radiation (EMF/RFR) coming from the towers would have on the community. She requested that the Town develop a communication antenna policy for the municipality, and call for a moratorium on the proposals.

“People living and working within a 500 metre radius are in a high radiation zone and more prone to ill effects microwave radiation,” said Clapperton. The ill effects include cancer, thyroid damage, DNA damage, sperm and fertility damage, among others.

And in the absence of a Town policy, Telus and Rogers have to follow Industry Canada’s guidelines.

Industry Canada’s policy requires that properties within three times the tower’s height be notified. The proposed tower will sit at 30 metres, meaning most of the people living or working in the 500 metre radius that Clapperton says is the danger area, were not notified or asked to provide input.

The Telus tower extension, located at 1101 11th Ave. S., will bring the height of the tower to 17.9 metres. Council voted to wait until the end of the public response on May 25 before they decided to proved “concurrence” or “nonconcurrence” to Industry Canada.

There have been examples in British Columbia where municipalities have rejected proposals including West Vancouver and Langley. And even though it is up to Industry Canada to approve or reject the proposals, Clapperton says there is still value in the Town voicing its opinion.

“Regardless of what happens, it shows that we have concern,” she said.