Letter to the editor.

LETTER – Public hearings on cell towers a chance for residents to get answers from the source

Dear editor,

Two new Telus communication towers are being proposed for our Valley, and residents are invited to contact Brian Gregg (Telus contact) and attend public information meetings on Nov 9 and 10 (see announcements in Oct. 19 Comox Valley Record, A43 & A44) with their comments, questions, and concerns.

Both proposed towers (a 43.0-metre tower at 1388 Ellenor Road and a 62.0 metre tower at 3505 Dove Creek Road) and ancillary structures are to be built on private property in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) (see Interactive Zoning, Area B, Map 8 and 9 on CV Regional District website).

If you are not already aware of the significant body of peer-reviewed scientific research documenting the health risks of exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to both humans and other life, I encourage you to do your research, and if you have concerns, make your voice heard. Here are some possible actions to take:

Research impartial sources regarding possible health risks to humans and other living beings (i.e. birds) associated with 5G technology.

Research: Do an online search for ‘5G radiofrequency radiation RFR health risks’. Look for published peer-reviewed studies by independent researchers. i.e. researchers who do not have ties to the telecommunications industry. Environmental Health Trust, Prof. Tom Butler’s 2020 critical literature review, the recently published study in Environmental Health by the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF), and Nick Pineault’s “5G in 5 Minutes: Quick & Rational Guide on 5G Radiation” are good places to start.

Ask questions of your area director and the provincial Agricultural Land Commission, which is mandated to protect the ALR land base and prioritize it for agricultural use.

The Agricultural Land Reserve is regulated by the Agricultural Land Commission Act. Cell towers and their ancillary structures are not listed under the Permitted Non-Farm Uses in the Agricultural Land Reserve Use Regulation. This means that the ALC would have had to adjudicate and approve this application to build a telecommunications tower and ancillary equipment on ALR land. How did this happen and what were the reasons behind this decision?

Attend the in-person public information meeting and ask questions of Telus. Are they aware of the 25 years of research documenting harm to both animal and human health due to RFR exposure, and that independent scientists from around the world are demanding a moratorium on the introduction of fifth-generation 5G technology until a thorough risk analysis is done? Who will assume liability should people and their animals (including bees) in the surrounding area begin to experience adverse health effects once the towers are up and operational?

Notify properties close to the proposed towers: Beekeepers who live close to the proposed towers would be wise to start documenting EMF readings on their property. This evidence might be of use in the future if this proposed project goes ahead. The health of pollinators is critical to food security. While the effects of RFR on pollinators is underresearched, the research that does exist shows troubling effects of 5G on bees (Environmental Health Trust).

Submit a comment to Telus Contact Brian Gregg by midnight Nov 28, 2022 (again, details are in the aforementioned notices in the Comox Valley Record).

Together, we can demand that decisions like the proposed cell towers, which have potentially profound implications to the health of our community and environment, are based on the precautionary principle and sound scientific evidence.

Suzanne Schiller,

Comox

Letter to the Editor

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