Beaconsfield residents angered over cell antenna
Published Saturday, June 20, 2015 4:15PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, June 20, 2015 6:48PM EDT
Citing concerns over long-term health effects, some Beaconsfield residents are angry at the location for a proposed cell phone antenna.
Scott Hebert, who lives near the site in question, said he was unaware of any plans until a Telus truck showed up and workers informed him that they’d be installing the equipment on a hydro pole near his house and across the street from a park.
“They said they were going to be installing a cell phone antenna on the hydro pole, which is right in front of our house near our kids' bedrooms,” said Hebert.
It was only after residents persuaded the workers not to install the antenna that day that they received a flyer in the mail detailing the project.
“I thought it was surprising that there was absolutely no information beforehand for residents,” said Eric Martin, another Beaconsfield resident who expressed concern.
While the general consensus among experts is that the antennas don’t generate enough radiation to cause health damage at the cellular level, that isn’t enough for parents who are concerned about the lack of data on long-term effects, especially when it comes to children.
“I’m very concerned,” said Debbie Sarik, who also lives near the hydro pole. “I’m the mom of three young kids and the studies I’ve been able to look, some say it’s safe, some say it’s not. I think the truth is we don’t know.”
After a petition garnered over 100 signatures, Beaconsfield city council voted to pass it along to the Federal government.
MP for Lac-Saint-Louis Francis Scarpaleggia addressed the issue during question period, asking Industry Minister James Moore why companies were required by law to consult residents about installing cellphone towers, but not about installing antennas on existing structures.
“The regulations, when applied, actually don’t allow for that loophold,” said Moore. “I’m happy to talk to the member and find out what’s happening in his district.”
Scarpaleggia said he wants to “bring the phone company and the residents together, and we’d like to have someone from the city present so we can start the discussion.”
When reached for comment, a representative for Telus said the company plans to review its processes for notifying residents of antenna installations.
“Once we heard that there were concerns, that's when we sent out letters to residents and halted the process, to make sure we could address everyone's concerns,” said the spokesperson.