City Committee Approves Cell Tower Moratorium in Guelph

by Istvan Fekete on December 10, 2013

The Guelph city committee voted unanimously for a cell tower building moratorium as Canada awaits a review of guidelines that govern exposure to electromagnetic energy created by mobile networks. But this may not stop incumbents from placing cell towers in the city.

The meeting featured discussion among affected residents, an intermediary group and an incumbent representative. As it turns out, the committee’s vote to enact a moratorium on building cell towers in the area carries little weight.

According to city zoning inspector Pat Sheehy, the fate of cell towers will be decided by Industry Canada, not the city. Even if the city votes against it, Industry Canada may still ultimately approve the building of cell towers in Guelph.

In other words, the city may unanimously approve a cell tower moratorium during its December 16 meeting, but if Industry Canada approves the incumbents’ application, they will be able to build cell towers without a problem at Grange Road and Starwood Drive, Kortright and Edinburgh roads, and on Victoria Road.

The city committee was advised to enact a cell tower moratorium by the Canadian Radiocommunications Information and Notification Service, an intermediary group between municipalities, wireless players and federal regulators.

As a result, the Guelph city planning, building, engineering and environment committee council withheld the city’s approval for all new cell towers until next spring, when a committee will deliver information on whether to update Canada Safety Code 6. This regulates exposure to electromagnetic energy in federally regulated industries.

One of the affected residents says she couldn’t survive the installation of a new cell tower. She lives in one of the rare spots without towers, and added that exposure to radiofrequency energy causes her a range of health problems.

But the other parties question the Safety Code 6, calling it outdated, and claiming that even Russia and China have enacted more stringent regulations.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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