I had the opportunity to attend the public open house held by Altus Group this past Thursday to discuss the proposal for a new cell tower located at the New Life Church at Thompson Road & Clark Blvd.
The room was packed with a number of people overflowing into the hallway and near the entrance of the Milton Leisure Centre. Many of them were carrying signs of protest and getting signatures on a petition to have it stopped. Emotions were running high as the residents in the area made their views known to the representatives from Altus Group that they were not happy with the location of the cell tower.
I have made many posts about this on my website and I do thank residents for voiceing their concerns. From the information I have now, this report will be completed and sent to the Town of Milton for review and their input. As far as I know, this report will be available to council mid May for information and councillors will be able to comment. I have mentioned in the past that the Town of Milton does not have a yay or nay say on this tower. The decision will be made by Industry Canada in the coming weeks. I do know that Halton MP Lisa Raitt wasnt available to attend the meeting herself, but a representative from her office did make the meeting and spoke at length with concerned residents.
I will keep everyone updated as the process continues.
Here is an article from the Milton Canadian Champion on the meeting Thursday night by Christina Commisso.
Residents express anger at cell tower meeting – Petition circulating to stop 100-foot cross tower in southeast Milton
Lisa-Lynn Vas holds up a sign Thursday evening at the Milton Leisure Centre during an open house hosted by Bell Mobility on the proposed erection of a cell phone tower in the shape of a cross.
Tensions ran high during last night’s meeting on a proposed 100-foot cell phone tower that could grace the landscape outside Milton’s New Life Church.
Residents could be heard chanting “stop the cell tower” and anger was evident in the voices of meeting goers as they spoke to representatives of Bell Mobility, the company behind the tower.
“You can’t stand in there for more than 15 minutes,” said Manny Gulati, referring to the tight space.
Gulati along with a team of residents have been knocking on doors and circulating a petition in hopes of preventing the erection of the tower. They’ve collected more than 500 signatures in two weeks.
Gulati said many of the households he has visited were unaware the cross-shaped tower was being considered on the Thompson Road and Louis St. Laurent-area church property. Once aware of the proposal, Gulati estimated about 80 per cent of individuals are against it. “It’s slowly exposing your body to radiation 24/7. Yes, Health Canada says it’s safe, but their research is still ongoing.”
His feelings were echoed by Ammar Al-Dojaily, who lives down the street from the proposed tower site.
“The problem is no one can say this is safe technology,” he said. “We are not against the technology, we appreciate it, we all use it. But I’m sure there’s an industrial area that could be used, this is not the only location.”
Andrea Anderson has two children who attend the daycare located at New Life. She said if the cell tower moves forward, she will consider pulling her kids out of the program. “If you look at the proximity of the playground, (the tower) is right there. They can probably reach out and touch it or something.”
Area-resident Aaron Sanderson said he wouldn’t think twice about selling his home if the tower is erected.
“Why would I want to expose my children to that,” he said of the radiofrequency (RF) energy given off by the tower. “I have three little kids and there’s some research that shows up to a 43 per cent increase in the chance of cancer. I don’t know if I believe that, but I also don’t know if it’s insignificant and does nothing. So why would I want to take that chance?”
Bell Mobility representatives at the meeting told the Champion they wouldn’t speak on the record with the media.
A Health Canada report distributed by Bell Mobility at the meeting states the International Agency for Research on Cancer said RF energy might be a risk factor for cancer, however more research is needed to clarify the possible link. Health Canada recommends limiting the length of cell phone calls, using hand-free devices and replacing calls with text messages to minimize RF exposure.
The report states, “Precautions to limit exposure to RF energy from cell phone towers are unnecessary because exposure levels are typically well below those specified in health-based exposure standards.”
Residents at the meeting distributed their own material — a study from Brazil that suggests mortality rates from neoplasia (the growth of abnormal cells) increased the closer residents lived to a cell phone base station.
Halton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Bob Nosal has disputed the study, stating there’s no convincing evidence weak radiofrequency signals from base stations cause adverse health effects.
Wendy Perkins, who has petitioned against more than one cell tower in Oakville, said smart decisions need to be made when it comes to cell towers.
“The public in Canada is waking up to this issue and saying we can do this smart, we can do this safe and we can do this economically, so why aren’t we? We have never recognized the dangers here.”
Through her experience, Perkins said once in a while with enough public outcry these towers are stopped. “But most of the time after years of protesting and banging your head against the wall, you give up.”
Gulati said he’s confident the tower at New Life can be stopped. “The reaction is here. Everyone is against it and the politicians should take note of that. People around Milton who live far away from the tower are standing against it. They know if we let it happen here, it will happen everywhere.”
A protest against the cell phone tower is planning for this Sunday outside New Life Church.