Residents to have more input on cell towers

Residents across Canada will now have more say on where cell towers are built in their communities.

Abbotsford MP Ed Fast said the new rules will address concerns of local residents and municipalities as towers are proposed around the city.

“It is essential that the people of Abbotsford be considered in the process to determine the location of a new tower, and it is up to the wireless industry to ensure that local voices are heard.”

The placement of cell towers has become a divisive issue with the rapidly increasing demand for wireless services.

“Canadians deserve to have a say in how new cell tower locations are identified in their communities,” said Fast.

The changes to the policy guiding the installation of new antenna towers will require companies to consult communities on all commercial tower installations, regardless of their height. Currently, they must only hold consultations for towers over 15 metres.

Companies must also build the tower within three years of consulting with communities and ensure that residents are well-informed of upcoming consultations.

The improvements will also strengthen federal communications with the public on tower siting procedures, including new online resources on the process, and new reporting mechanisms to track tower issues and report back to communities.

The government also currently requires companies to first look at sharing existing tower infrastructure, whenever they can, to reduce the number of new towers needed in each community.

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