Bell Mobility tower application on hold by Huntsville planning council
Bell Mobility’s proposal for the installation of a 35-metre tall monopine telecommunications tower at 27 Hoodstown Road was put on hold by Huntsville Planning Committee, at the January 25, 2022, meeting.
Although Committee members had no objections to the proposed site, Huntsville resident, Peggy Peterson, raised concerns about the public not having an adequate opportunity to voice their concerns about the application.
Peterson said that “misinformation went to the public,” and that they didn’t have the chance to effectively participate in the meetings with Bell. She added, “Bell Mobility didn’t provide lawful meetings as required by the public’s By-law,” and that the sound didn’t work in the second meeting and that she couldn’t get into the platform.
Other concerns expressed by Peterson included Bell not being able to guarantee service in the area surrounding the proposed tower upon being asked, and potential health risks of a 5G tower. She indicated, “anything with tissue is affected by electromagnetic radiation.”
“You need to know your decisions reflect back on the Environment Protection Act and to do no harm… Adverse affects falls back on this Council – adverse affect to any person,” added Peterson.
Peterson also expressed that there weren’t any peer review studies that supported the safety of 5G towers, referenced a legal battle in the U.S. won by Robert Kennedy regarding the risks of exposure to children and adults, and said Canadian doctors are trying to put a halt to them.
“I really want to plant seeds of doubt that this is a healthy solution,” said Peterson, indicating a willingness to provide Council with copies of studies she had about the damage caused by electromagnetic frequency, if they were interested.
When Bell representative, Evan Turunen, of Canacre Limited, was given an opportunity for a presentation, he said, “The presentation by staff covered everything pretty well.”
Councillor Dan Armour, asked Turunen to speak to the issues raised about the 5G tower.
Turunen replied that these types of issues are regulated by Health Canada. “This whole process is regulated by Industry Canada,” he said, adding, “EMF is everywhere.”
Regarding the concerns about the public meeting, Turunen said it was coordinated with the planning department.
Mayor Nancy Alcock, inquired about why Bell felt the proposed location was the best one out of analyzing six.
Turunen indicated, “There was a limited area where we could site the tower and provide maximum coverage.” He added that the site was also ideal for visual purposes because it is the “furthest away from residents while providing coverage.”
Councillor Scott Morrison, asked if there were any existing 5G towers in the area?
Turunen didn’t know about the quantity of 5G towers in the area, and added, “Bell will be deploying the new technology on their sites where they have infrastructure and upgrading it like they do on any new technology.”
Councillor Cory Clarke, inquired about whether the public meetings were just held on Zoom, indicting there would be an opportunity for in-person meetings now, and added, “majority of the letters we received were not in favour, and deserving of meetings in a more personal format.” He presented the option for not approving the proposal and allowing for an in-person meeting first “to satisfy the public.”
Morrison inquired about the possibility of discussing a 4G tower instead in another meeting, suggesting they would still accommodate the same reach.
Turunen expressed “Bell committed to upgrading infrastructure to provide improved service.”
Upon Council’s discussion about delaying approval of the application until the public had the opportunity for an in-person meeting, Turunen questioned the necessity of another meeting, and said, “I’m not sure what issues would be addressed. A lot of the public addressed issues.”
The committee postponed the proposal for the tower and made an amendment to include one more in-person public meeting.