Last week we had over 400 emails and letters submitted to Toronto councillors concerning the recent agenda items regarding Toronto's protocol on towers/antenna under 15M in height. Councillors were surprised and overwhelmed with the interest and response. Thank you very much.
On Dec. 18th, 2013 the City of Toronto council approved a breakthrough contract. For all cell tower/antennae on City property, Rogers has agreed to full compliance with Torontoâ€™s Prudent Avoidance Policy which sets radiation levels 100 times safer than Health Canadaâ€™s Safety Code 6. Prudent Avoidance was reconfirmed by the Toronto Board of Health on Nov 4th, 2013. Rogers has also agreed in the contract to measure the output ea year for compliance, as well as indemnify the City of Toronto of any/all liability caused by their equipment. This includes all health effects. To our knowledge this is the first time in North America this has occurred, setting the stage for other cities, municipalities, and telecom companies to follow suit.
In updating its protocol for towers less than 15 metres, Toronto council renewed it's request to Health Canada to review and revise Safety Code 6, as well as renewing their request to Industry Canada to include towers under 15M in height in public notification and consultation. Currently they are excluded under federal guidelines. Council also requested Toronto Hydro to adopt best practices for antenna placed on hydro poles. Toronto's leading best practices include prudent avoidance as well as for all proposed sites to be sign posted properly regardless of height.
The exact motions that were passed are read as:
1. City Council renew its request to Industry Canada to amend its client procedure circular to require public consultation and consultation with the local land use authority for telecommunications towers which are less than 15 metres in height in the City of Toronto.
2. City Council encourage Health Canada to actively review health evidence, including the most recent scientific research and studies, related to human exposure to radiofrequencies and to revise Safety Code 6 to meet international best practices, in consultation with the public and appropriate experts.
3. City Council request Toronto Hydro to adopt the City of Toronto's best practices, including the City of Toronto's Telecommunications Tower Protocol, for any antenna mounted on Toronto Hydro poles.
4. Council direct that a sign be posted on any telecommunications tower that would inform the public that the Federal Government has granted permission for the tower and that concerns should be directed to the local Member of Parliament and/or the appropriate federal authority, and to include th name and telephone # for the company proposing the site, as well as local government officials.
Special thanks goes out to councillor Jaye Robinson for her huge efforts, and to councillors Michelle Berardinetti and Adam Vaughan for their support and motions.
While we were successful in the above protocol motions, all council can do is request that Toronto Hydro follow the same terms for antennae on light poles. Please let us know if you would like to help educate and influence Toronto Hydroâ€™s board.
On December 16th, 2013 the City of Guelph Council passed a motion asking Industry Canada to place a moratorium on the approval of any new radiocommunication facilities until such time as the review of Safety Code 6 has been finalized. This follows the same ask to Minister Moore from the town of Oakville and Thorold. We will actively be working with other municipalities in the new year to join these leading towns and cities.
Also on December 16, 2013, West Vancouver council made a big statement by voting not to endorse Rogersâ€™ application to install 3 cell towers along Upper Levels highway.
As you know, one of our main goals is to get Health Canadaâ€™s Safety Code 6 properly revised to protect all Canadians. We are looking for Riding Reps to meet with their local MP and council in the new year to bring them up to date on the science around SC6 and get their endorsement to help update SC6.
Click HERE for our holiday press release regarding tips on wireless children's toys to avoid when shopping for the little ones.
We wish you a healthy and happy holiday season from all of us at C4ST.