Update – Proposed Cell Tower at 50 Barnes Street
On June 14, 2016, Rogers Communications hosted an open house to discuss their proposal to construct a 30m Monopole Telecommunications Tower at 50 Barnes Street (site of Grace Christian Church). Rogers asked Evolve Surface Strategies to conduct their public consultation, as required by Industry Canada.
After the consultation, numerous residents advised our office that Evolve had provided an incorrect telephone number. As a result, some residents were unable to submit their comments and questions to Evolve. If you would like to ensure that Rogers Communication is aware of your comments and questions, you can contact them directly:
Carol Robinson, Municipal Relations Specialist
Rogers Communications Inc. 700, 500-4th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2V6
Phone 403-450-0122 E-Mail: Carol.Robinson@rci.rogers.com
As I have received many calls and E-Mails from residents regarding this proposal, I believe it is important to provide some information and clarification.
Exclusive Federal Responsibility
The decision to approve and license the location of Antenna Systems is made only by the Minister of Industry Canada, who has sole jurisdiction over the location and installation of communication facilities. Specific details are in Federal Radio Communication Antenna System
In a recent ruling on June 16, 2016, the Supreme Court endorsed the principle that radio-communications and telecommunications, including the location of infrastructure, are matters of exclusive federal jurisdiction.
Industry Canada requires cellular telecommunications facilities to comply with guidelines established by Health Canada in order to protect people who live or work near these facilities. In addition, the installation and modification of antenna systems must be done in a manner that complies with appropriate environmental legislation, including the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
The Supreme Court’s ruling leaves very little constitutional room for direct municipal intervention.
Limited Role of Municipal Government
Municipal governments, such as the City of Winnipeg, are limited to providing input in two ways:
- The Federal Government’s public consultation process requires municipal input. For details, see Winnipeg Antenna System Policy
- The Telecommunications Act requires municipal consent in order for telecom companies to have access to municipal rights-of-way.
The Government of Manitoba has no involvement in this type of issue.
Position of Councillor Lukes
The City of Winnipeg is very limited in its ability to provide input, as noted above.
As part of the Federal Government’s cell tower application process, the Elected Area Municipal Official receives a copy of the proposal.
In my role as Ward Councillor for South Winnipeg-St. Norbert, I can confirm that I received the proposal and am not supporting the proposed tower at 50 Barnes Street. As a result, I have issued a letter of non-concurrence.
It’s important to understand three key points:
- The decision to approve and license the location of Antenna Systems is made only by the Minister of Industry Canada, who has sole jurisdiction over the location and installation of communication facilities.
- The Supreme Court of Canada has reaffirmed that radio-communications and telecommunications, including the location of infrastructure, are matters of exclusive federal jurisdiction.
- When a letter of non-concurrence has been issued by the municipality, the proponent (in this case, Rogers Communications) can still forge ahead with the site through impasse resolution process or through a court action.
This issue is the exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government, and specifically, Industry Canada. Comments and questions should be forwarded directly to Industry Canada as follows:
Industry Canada – Spectrum Management Operations Branch
235 Queen Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0H5
Manitoba District Office 4th Floor, 400 St. Mary Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3C 4K5
Phone 1-800-665-3421 Fax : (204) 984-6045 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter link: http://janicelukes.ca/?p=6331