Cit­i­zens Say No

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

Last Fri­day, 23rd of May, 2014, the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of East Bolton held a con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing with the cit­i­zens con­cern­ing Bell Mo­bil­ity’s pro­posal to erect two telecommunication tow­ers in East Bolton. Dur­ing the two hours of pre­sen­ta­tions, the pre­sen­ters were unan­i­mous in ex­press­ing their op­po­si­tion to Bell’s pro­posal, and they were sup­ported by Pat­ri­moine Bolton Her­itage.

In one weekend alone, 350 sig­na­tures were ob­tained in sup­port of a pe­ti­tion to re­ject the project to con­struct two telecommunication tow­ers in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The cit­i­zens con­sider the con­sul­ta­tion process that Bell uses ac­cord­ing to the pro­to­col es­tab­lished by In­dus­try Canada is in­valid and anti-demo­cratic. Bell is in ef­fect in a real and ob­vi­ous con­flict of in­ter­est as both pro­moter and ar­biter.

The tech­ni­cal choices are also a prob­lem. The cel­lu­lar tele­phone ser­vices and high speed in­ter­net are al­ready avail­able in East Bolton, ex­cept in ran­dom pock­ets where Bell Mo­bil­ity can’t guar­an­tee that these will be served by the pro­posed tow­ers. The tech­nol­ogy pro­posed by Bell Mo­bil­ity is 30 years old and out­dated. It pre­sents risks for the en­vi­ron­ment, property val­ues and the health of cit­i­zens.

The pre­sen­ta­tion that had per­haps the great­est im­pact was made by a woman whose fam­ily has lived in East Bolton for sev­eral gen­er­a­tions. She stated in all sin­cer­ity and sim­plic­ity that the pro­posed tech­nol­ogy did not an­swer to the needs of the pop­u­la­tion, and that when her grand­chil­dren will want to lis­ten to tele­vi­sion on the cel­lu­lar phone, the tech­nol­ogy pro­posed will be out­dated, and all that will re­main will be the rusty tow­ers in the land­scape.

This strong re­jec­tion of the Bell tow­ers has led to a re­quest for a mora­to­rium on their con­struc­tion and a pro­posal to ex­plore, in a non-par­ti­san con­text, the real needs in the com­mu­nity, the al­ter­na­tive tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions and the pos­si­ble av­enues to fi­nance the so­lu­tion. This would mean re­vis­it­ing the CRTC’s de­ci­sions re­gard­ing Bell’s obli­ga­tions to them, as well as look­ing at the fore­word-look­ing tech­nol­ogy for “smart cities” that is more and more talked about in Que­bec. Pat­ri­moine Bolton Her­itage:

A non-profit as­so­ci­a­tion, Pat­ri­moine Bolton Her­itage was cre­ated in 2008 fol­low­ing the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of East Bolton. Its man­date is to pro­mote and pre­serve her­itage build­ings. Fol­low­ing Bell’s pro­posal to con­struct the telecommunication tow­ers, the as­so­ci­a­tion ex­tended its man­date to in­clude the pro­tec­tion of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s land­scape her­itage. Pat­ri­moine Bolton Her­itage pro­ceeded to mo­bi­lize and in­form the com­mu­nity, held an in­for­ma­tion day and drew up a pe­ti­tion re­gard­ing the Bell Mo­bil­ity pro­posal

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