Letter: Decision to deny cell towers good

Councillors are our gatekeeping watchdogs against potentially harmful and unsightly towers

Decision to deny cell towers good

Dear mayor and council:

I sure support council’s recent decision not to allow Rogers Communications to erect two more cell towers on our municipal land.

I agree councillors must legally keep open minds regarding such applications, while always considering residents’ wants and needs.

Councillors are our gatekeeping watchdogs against potentially harmful and unsightly towers and other structures private-sector corporations may wish to build.

Many locals believe we have enough cell towers now amid rising global worries about proveable fallout from 5G technology.

Folks are hence speaking out against more towers due to those cogent concerns. They are rightly citing ambient radiation, visual pollution and other worries potentially affecting their health and property values.

That’s why so-called NIMBY attitudes persist: fear and concern for one’s self and community after learning the negative effects of such invasive structures here and elsewhere.

It’s likely Rogers and other tech companies will soon apply to North Cowichan for permission to erect more towers.

But council must weigh needs for more cell-phone reception versus the health and well-being of our taxpaying citizens.

Due to long-term environmental, financial and health concerns, council critically needs strict policies about how, when and where to approve — or reject — such private structures on our public property.

The mayor’s statement (Citizen, May 27, 2021) that “cell phones are becoming ubiquitous and we need the infrastructure to support them” is arguable.

Just because residents voluntarily buy and want cell phones — handy devices of growing concern among doctors, scientists and educators — or any other goods, does not obligate council to provide a ubiquitous infrastructure at the expense of other folks.

Yours in health and safety,

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan