Citizens Say No
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 The technology proposed by Bell Mobility is 30 years old and outdated.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that when her grandchildren will want to listen to television on the cellular phone, the technology proposed will be outdated, and all that will remain will be the rusty towers in the landscape.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