Dear Editor, The following letter has been sent to Mr. Jeff McKay of Rogers Telecommunications
Dear Mr. McKay,
Further to your request for comment regarding the proposed Rogers radio-communications tower in the municipality of Meaford, the people have spoken. Our community is sending you a 700-strong petition opposing the Cell Tower placement.
You have proposed a Rogers Telecommunications tower located at 71 Edwin Street East, Meaford, Ontario, PIN 37114-0109 (LT Rogers Site C4272), close to the school.
While we recognize that some of the undersigned 700-strong opposed to the Cell Tower placement have contacted you individually, we as a community also wish to express the gravity of our convictions by presenting you with the attached petition showing our disagreement with the Rogers proposal as presented.
We have a number of concerns, the most urgent being:
While you reference that the proposed site is located in an "Industrial" Zone, the property in question is less than 60m to residential housing and only 190m to community spaces such as schools and sports fields. Many worried parents and residents are deeply concerned about the long-term health effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation from this Cell Tower inserted into essentially a fully residential area, located next to the school. We request you find a site well away from homes and site sensitive locations, like schools. Your site placement has made this a deeply contentious issue in The Municipality of Meaford, and has prompted our Honorable Council to create a “Safe & Sane Cell Tower Placement Policy” so something as problematic will not occur in our Municipalities future.
We believe that there are alternative sites which have not been adequately explored, and we do not believe that the "search ring" used to establish the location for this site could not be moved to the east into lesser used areas, while still providing Rogers materially the same coverage as the current proposed site, but with less impact on families and businesses.
Irrespective of the 10 to 21 percent devaluation of property “near or around” Cell Tower placement, we remain concerned that the installation is visually intrusive to the existing land uses, and your proposal does nothing to discuss how your proposed installation will blend into the location through some combination of structure design or shrouding techniques.
We understand that Health Canada has revisions to Safety Code 6 which, when compared to the older version, would reduce the allowable emissions from these towers dependent on the frequencies being used. We note that other than a promise to operate the site in accordance with Safety Code 6, we have no evidence that the proposed site will comply with the current Safety Code 6, nor that Rogers will accommodate the new, lower levels of the Safety Code 6, 2014 edition.
Based on these four points alone, the undersigned strongly object to the tower as proposed.
We note that the Minister of Industry has indicated in February of this year, that the public and municipalities need to have more say in where these structures are located, and therefore we ask that Rogers abandon this particular site, and go back to the drawing board and work with the municipality to find an alternate location which is more in keeping with the character of the town.
In 2008, Toronto City Council adopted a “prudent avoidance” policy to keep radio frequency emissions 100 times below the safe limit as defined by Health Canada. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified such waves emitted from Cell Towers as a Class 2B carcinogen, meaning there’s a potential link to cancer in humans.
“When you deliver a potential carcinogen over a wide area in the environment, you expose numerous people and you may increase risk to a small proportion, but you can’t identify who they are. But that doesn’t mean there’s no harm being done, and as you increase the dosage,--as you increase the number of radio frequency fields in our environment,--so you will in fact increase the hazard,” said Dr. Anthony Miller, professor emeritus in cancer epidemiology at U of T, when he gave a deputation before the city public works committee last month.
Three years ago the World Health Organization declared Cell Tower wireless radiation to be a possible human carcinogen, in the same category as some pesticides, lead, and engine exhausts. Since then evidence has mounted that such radiation can profoundly affect human biology, alter brain metabolism, damage animals, cause eye tumors, etc.
Before blanketing our pre-schools, kindergartens, and high schools with wireless radiation we need less ambiguous contravening data on the health risks.
“Our entire community, including all our children, young people and pregnant women, deserve to be protected from the potential risks these facilities pose”, to quote one of the 700 strong petition signers.
We have the Federal and Municipal representatives of our community, as well as, all the concerned citizenry of Meaford giving you a clear message: Abandon current site, and move the Cell Tower to a site acceptable to our community.
If the will of the Citizenry of the Municipality of Meaford is disrespectfully ignored, we will organize the largest rally in Meaford’s history, will go National in the Media, and we will write an open letter to the Prime Minister of Canada: This will be a full page placement in The Ottawa Citizen requesting the Prime Minister ensure our Municipal Government’s “Safe and Sane Cell Tower Placement Policy” be respected. And that shall just be the beginning of a larger “full spectrum awareness campaign”, an invitation to medical scientists & researchers to document the school and residence for EMR effects, and a subsequent Class Action Lawsuit - “Semper Fidelis Per Angusta Ad Augusta”
The MEAFORD CELL TOWER STEERING COMMITTEE, and concerned Parents & Citizens have sent you a clear mandate: You are to stop the Rogers/Knights Cell Tower Placement right next to the Secondary School.
We hope that you will recognize the seriousness with which our community takes this matter and we look forward to continued dialog with Rogers with the end goal being a more suitable placement for the proposed installation.
Meaford Cell Tower Steering Committee