Who does what…

Municipalities are the exclusive jurisdiction of the Province. The federal government cannot require a municipality to participate in its exercise of its exclusive jurisdiction over approval of cell towers.
Canada has asked municipalities to participate in a way misleadingly called a "letter of concurrence" that is limited to offering non-binding comments on a short list of topics such as paint and site fencing and certifying that applicants consulted the public. Canada refuses to delegate actual approval authority to municipalities.
The last time Oakville gave a cell tower site comment "Letter of Concurrence" to an applicant, the applicant and the federal government (and the then-MP) described the "letter of concurrence" as being full approval by the Town of all aspects of the installation. Ever since this lie, Oakville refuses to provide letters of concurrence for the Canadian government's approval of cell towers unless the local MP first writes a 'letter of concurrence' to the Town concurring with the Town providing a "Letter of Concurrence".

MP confused about his job…

Cell tower applications are the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government

Oakville Beaver Article, August 30, 2013

Oakville Conservative MP Terence Young was confused about the Constitution and about what his job is when he wrote in these pages last week, “Towns do have some authority, and responsibility: to represent the views of local residents to Industry Canada.”

Didn’t you think it was MP Young's job “to represent the views of local residents to Industry Canada” (a federal government department)? To assist him in that, just before the MP’s article appeared, Oakville council unanimously passed a resolution by councillors Alan Johnston and Ralph Robinson that there shouldn’t be any new cell towers of any size until the Health Canada review of exposure limits to radio frequencies is done, but the MP chose to not mention this in order to mislead you.

It’s flat wrong that we have any authority; cell towers are an exclusive federal jurisdiction. The federal government limits us to commenting on the paint on the tower and other appearance items and to saying the proponent consulted the public. The last time we did this, the federal government claimed we had “concurred” about the entire thing, including its health and safety. This was untrue. That’s why we changed our cell tower “protocol" to make clear that the Canadian government, not Oakville, is responsible for cell towers.

The MP is also mistaken about what is covered by our cell tower “protocol” (a federal government word). Our protocol already covers small towers, as well as all other forms of cell transmitter installations, even the ones MP Young’s government exempts from any public notice.

Council also has adopted the policy that the Town will not comment on any applications for new cell towers unless they first are endorsed in writing by the federal MP for the area concerned — to spotlight the fact that this is an exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government.
If MP Young wants public hearings on cell tower applications, as he said last Friday, it is his job to do it and to bear the expense, not the local taxpayer.
Regrettably, MP Young is also mistaken in his claim that I ever said he’d “done nothing.” Anyone can check the tape of the meeting. I said it had been 816 days since he promised to get municipalities local control over cell tower placements with a private member’s bill. Now, as you read this on Friday (Aug. 30), it has been 834 days in which he hasn’t so much as circulated a draft or held a public meeting to consult Oakville residents about the contents of such a bill.

I also said, and I renew that statement now, that we’re waiting hopefully for him to deliver what he promised.

— Mayor Rob Burton, Town of Oakville

Post Script
July 22, 2014
Still nothing from Terence Young, 1167 days after his promise.

Post Post Script
January 1, 2015
Still nothing from Terence Young, 1323 days after his promise.

Post Post Post Script
May 19, 2015
Still nothing from Terence Young, 4 years after his promise

Post Post Post Post Script
October 19, 2015
Terence Young defeated in General Election

MP breaks his promise…

No cell tower Bill

MP doesn't even
introduce a bill

On May 19, 2011 Oakville's then-MP Terence Young promised a private member's bill to give local control over cell towers (see below). We're still waiting. We've never even seen a rough draft.

Update 3: Health Canada Completes Safety Code 6 Review
- Wednesday, July 23, 2014
On April 2, 2014 the government's promised review of Safety Code 6 was published by the Royal Society. Read it here.

EXCERPT:" ...there is no scientific basis for the occurrence of acute, chronic and/or cumulative adverse health risks from RF field exposure at levels below the limits outlined in Safety Code 6. The hypothesis of other proposed adverse health effects occurring at levels below the exposure limits outlined in Safety Code 6 suffer from a lack of evidence of causality, biological plausibility and reproducibility and do not provide a credible foundation for making science-based recommendations for limiting human exposures to low-intensity RF fields."

Update 2: Council asks for halt on new towers
- Monday, August 12, 2013
Oakville Town Council tonight unanimously called on the federal government and the telecom industry to halt new transmission facilities while the Ministry of Health reviews Safety Code 6.
Update 1: Federal politicians have all the cell tower power
- Friday, August 9, 2013
In response to public concerns, Oakville Town Council first passed a cell tower protocol by-law in 2011 (and updated it in 2012) opposing new cell towers within 200 meters of homes even though the federal government told the residents and Council they would ignore it, and ignoring it is just what the federal government has done since and is still doing now.

The Prime Minister and his Cabinet, especially the Minister of Industry, and the Members of Parliament, such as Oakville MP Terence Young, are the only ones who can change the rules for cell tower placement. Under Canada's Constitution, the federal government has exclusive authority over cell tower placements.

We got our hopes up for local control on May 19, 2011, when Oakville MP Terence Young told the media he will get municipalities more control over cell towers with a "regulation or private members bill".

(You can click this quote to read more from the news story from the day: "Young wants municipalities to have greater control over where cell towers are placed through regulation or by private members bill when he returns to Parliament. “I believe people should feel safe in their neighbourhood. This is a national issue and isn’t going to go away and is going to get bigger,” he added.")

Council and I continue to hope MP Young will introduce his regulation or his bill as he promised back on May 19, 2011.

Until things change, the Ontario Municipal Act (click to read) dictates what Mayors and Councils oversee. Other things are looked after by the federal and/or the provincial government.

Bottom Line: if the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers never hear from citizens who are concerned about cell towers, nothing will ever change. (Oakville Council - see above - already told them!)

So what is it about this federal government that keeps people from feeling they can take their federal issues to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet and MPs?

Non-concurrence map

map of non-concurrence areas

Here is a map of Oakville showing cell tower non-concurrence zones (pink area) from our 200 meter setback. Only areas that are white or white under blue cross hatching are areas where Oakville will consider cell tower concurrence.

(You can click on the map image to view the map in larger format).

Our 'cell tower protocol' covers all installations, even those the federal government exempts from public notice.

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