Vancouver residents concerned about cellular network towers springing up in residential areas will voice their concerns on Sunday (February 20) at the Kiwassa Neighbourhood House (2425 Oxford Street) in Hastings-Sunrise.
Vancouver-Hastings NDP MLA Shane Simpson and Vancouver East NDP MP Libby Davies are organizing the community meeting, which will take place from 1 to 3 p.m.
In a December letter, Davies raised constituents’ concerns about cell towers in their neighbourhood with Industry Minister Tony Clement and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
In an e-mail to fellow residents earlier this month, Janice Evans noted that a 15-metre tall tower was installed in November near the corner of Nanaimo and McGill streets.
“This is the first time a telecom took the liberty to install a cell tower in a residential neighborhood without seeking city approval,” the e-mail states. “Rogers is arguing that cell towers are federally regulated and that the federal regulations state that if a tower is under 15 metres in height they do not have to consult the City.”
On February 15, Vision Vancouver councillor Raymond Louie, who lives a few blocks south of the tower referred to by Evans, introduced a motion, asking that council direct the city manager to “ensure citizen and industry concerns are identified and integrated into a coherent approach to this issue”.
Louie also proposed city staff “continue to work with telecommunications companies, federal agencies, and Vancouver Coastal Health in a collaborative process to develop clear protocols and guidelines for the installation of all antennas in the city that balance citizen, industry and city needs in addressing current challenges in regards to permitting, public process and urban design issues”.
For local resident Kara Ardan, Louie’s motion is a bit unclear.
Ardan said, instead of looking to the municipal level for solutions, she is convinced a Canada-wide solution is the only way to guarantee sufficient oversight and safety.