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
July 22, 2014
Still nothing from Terence Young, 1167 days after his promise.
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January 1, 2015
Still nothing from Terence Young, 1323 days after his promise.
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May 19, 2015
Still nothing from Terence Young, 4 years after his promise
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October 19, 2015
Terence Young defeated in General Election