Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Meaford on the Verge of a David & Goliath Story?

Letter to the Editor


I’m one of the folks who does not want a cell tower in any settlement area in the Municipality of Meaford. I do believe that there are a lot of other people who feel the same way I do.

You have the extremes on this issue. The folks who are positive that based on their interpretation of the available research, there is no real concern for short or long term health issues related to on-going low level radiation. The other end of the spectrum are citizens who feel that the majority of research, often funded by ‘self-interest’ groups is biased towards industry. There is other research that speaks to the negative health risks of on-going low level radiation exposure.

My standpoint is different. I do believe that we have ‘sensitives’ in our community who would be negatively affected health-wise if a cell tower existed at Meaford Harbour, on Edwin Street, near the local high school or on Bell’s utility building on Nelson Street immediately adjacent to homes.

I strongly believe that we really can’t leave anyone behind on this issue. No longer is it OK to have others suffer for ‘the greater good’. If we do that, it will lead to ‘the greater bad’. None of us are expendable.  Look at our history. First Nations people were left behind. We know how that worked out.

The acceptance of gay people is another case in point. Some estimates suggest that 10 -15% of our population is gay. How long did it take society to recognize this natural state? How many people were marginalized or seriously hurt until we found it in our hearts and laws to see the practicality of being inclusive?

I see the cell tower issue in the same light. Let’s be inclusive. Let’s not leave anyone behind. I can’t hang my hat on science. I have to hang it on the 10 – 15% in our community that are sensitive to the low level, unceasing electro-magnetic waves that emanate from wireless technology.

Some think we’ve lost to Rogers.  Some infer that the responsible and inclusive stand our Municipal Council took with substantial community support was at the very least naïve.

Remember, the town of Meaford’s location is unique.  The November 25th, 2014 letter submitted by the Canadian Radiocommunications Information and Notification Service (CRINS) to Industry Canada spoke to this reality. From a radio-communications perspective, Meaford presents a topographical challenge in that the majority of downtown area is in the shadow of the hills to all sides. Towers outside of the downtown area such as the site at CFB Meaford lose considerable signal strength due to the signal reflecting off the upper ridgeline. Most existing signals enters the downtown core via a topographical corridor along the shoreline from existing facilities in the southeast.

Currently, the lobby group for the telecommunications industry, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), under the leadership of ‘the’ Bernard Lord, has reared its’ powerful head into our established process; a place they shouldn’t be.

Why is this forceful lobby group trying to disrupt the protocol voted upon by our Municipal Council; one set by the federal government?

Why the not so subtle intimation at this crucial point in the negotiations for cell tower placement?

Does it mean that our community is on the verge of our own successful David & Goliath story?

Municipalities that figure out how to do this will be ahead of the curve in building cohesive and healthy hometowns, let’s be one of them.

Lindy Iversen, Meaford

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