Residents protest cell tower

Hillcrest: Rogers Communications says agreement not finalized.

  • Oct. 29, 2013 11:00 a.m.
Statement: Neighbours of a planned cell tower at 2391-20th Ave. SE gathered Thursday morning in protest of the proposal and used their cars to limit access to the site.

Statement: Neighbours of a planned cell tower at 2391-20th Ave. SE gathered Thursday morning in protest of the proposal and used their cars to limit access to the site.

A small group of citizens concerned about the effects of a cell phone tower planned for the Hillcrest area blocked an easement Thursday morning, complicating access for crews trying to work at the site.

“We are doing this because we do not believe people are informed about the hazards of these towers and the frequencies and electromagnetic radiation they emit,” said Jean Olsen, who has lived in the neighbourhood since 1983. “I’m concerned about the effects on my grandchildren and all the other little people who go to school and live near here and do not have a voice.”

The Rogers Communications tower is proposed to be sited on private property on 20th Avenue SE, which is owned by Don Gona.

Hillcrest Elementary school is located a few blocks away from the Gona’s acreage property.

“In an effort to bring better service to the Salmon Arm community, Rogers has been investigating the property at 2391-20th Ave. SE. The proposal has not been finalized,” says Luiza Staniec, a spokesperson for Rogers.

While the neighbours believed the cell transmitter was being installed that morning, Gona told the Observer the crews were there to check on the siting plans. Gona said the cell tower would not be a new addition to the area, but would be placed on the current BC Hydro steel tower already in the neighbourhood.

Gona attended a meeting Wednesday night regarding the erection of cell towers in Canoe and Hillcrest. He said the meeting was entirely one-sided against cell towers.

“I’ve studied this myself and from what I have read, the emissions are less than radio or TV towers. If I thought there would be any health problems from this, I wouldn’t live this close to it myself or allow it to be on my property.”

Gona has not yet made a deal with the company, he said, acknowledging that he would be compensated financially if the tower is placed on the hydro easement on his land. He would not comment as to when he might make a decision or when the proposed installation might take place.

“My neighbours have turned against me,” he said. “And if they are going to push me, I’m going to push back.”

Staniec also told the Observer it is too early in the process for Rogers to put a time frame on it.

The location of cell stations or towers is governed under federal legislation, administered by Industry Canada.

She confirms Rogers Communications will be following the Industry Canada antenna siting and approval procedures process, which does not provide for the City of Salmon Arm to give input into where cell towers are located as long as they are under 15-metres high.

This particular cell station would be under the 15-metre limit.

If higher than 15 metres, the city would be asked for input, but the authority ultimately resides with Industry Canada, not the municipality.

Olsen would like to see the city bring in its own bylaws to require due process on proposed cell tower sites.

She says the city needs to look to other places like Toronto and Collingwood, Ont., which have placed regulatory controls on the location of cell towers through bylaws.

The protesters say they are not against cell phones or cell towers, but believe there should be more consideration and consultation about where they are located.

“I’m not saying don’t bring them in, but they need to do it where it is safer, in isolated areas. This would be much better up on the side of the mountain,” said Olsen, gesturing to the back side of Mt. Ida in the background.

“This is not the right place for this,” she said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Canoe Forest Products plywood plant in Salmon Arm is holding its own. (File photo)
Canoe Forest Products in Salmon Arm holding its own during pandemic

General manager says pandemic has not forced layoffs, still 180 people working

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

A line of cars was left waiting for a train at the Marine Park Drive railway crossing as a train halted by a mechanical issue blocked both crossings in the area for close to an hour. (Photo Submitted)
Mechanical issues stall traffic at Salmon Arm rail crossings

Train was stopped on tracks blocking crossings at Narcisse Street and Marine Park Drive

Due to restrictions around COVID-19, access to the Larch Hills chalet will be limited for the 2020/21 cross-country ski season. (File photo)
Early snow means early cross-country skiing at Shuswap’s Larch Hills

COVID-19 requirements restrict use of chalet, postpones of events

The CP Holiday Train stops in Salmon Arm on Dec. 14, 2019. (File photo)
CP Holiday Train at Home to give $7,000 to Salmon Arm food bank

Council members express appreciation for support of the Shuswap from CP Rail

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Summerland residents have been receiving a telephone scam with the number showing as the telephone number of the local RCMP detachment. (Black Press Media files)
Summerland RCMP telephone number spoofed in scam calls

Number used in scam attempts from tax agency

(Village of Lumby photo)
Mysterious, loud ‘boom’ shakes North Okanagan residents

Village staff, Earthquakes Canada aren’t sure what caused the explosion-like sound

Clarence Fulton students collect cash and non-perishable food donations for families in need in their community Friday, Nov. 27. (Jennifer Smith  - Morning Star)
North Okanagan students collect food for families in need

Annual event to support nine school families this year

Take a break from the slopes to discover the rich culture and diversity of Vernon. Michelle Beaudry photo, courtesy Tourism Vernon.
Tourism Vernon could see 40% cut to budget due to COVID-19

New approach to help residents and visitors activate their adventures

Danika Rennie and Myles Lowe sport some realistic fake facial hair for Parkview Elementary’s moustache day on Nov. 27. (Contributed)
Snapshot: Moustache Day at Parkview

Parkview Elementary students showed up with their best false facial hair on Nov. 27

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Most Read