Opinion

Residents need new cell tower

Nanaimo city council obviously has some hang-ups about cellphone towers.

Council made the wrong decision two weeks ago when it voted against a proposed Telus cellular tower along Hammond Bay Road.

The neighbourhood’s cellphone users have had dead-zone difficulties for ages, and we’ve heard concerns that even the city’s emergency services run into communications challenges in that part of town.

Mayor John Ruttan said his main concern about the tower was its proximity to schools. That suggests he and his peers on council were swayed by fears that this cell tower would radiate harm upon the land. No, that’s the Dark Tower of Mordor that does that.

Health Canada’s safety code is continually reviewed and updated. Telus’s tower would have been completely to code, meaning the radiofrequency electromagnetic energy emitted would have been considered safe exposure. Even a small child situated next to the tower 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year would experience no known adverse health effects.

We’ve had a lot of years to study this radiation now and better understand what’s harmful and what isn’t. And that old brown microwave you had in the eighties didn’t give you a tumour – it never even gave you a headache.

If this issue is strictly about keeping our kids safe, then we’re better off with a cell tower than without. If a child is trapped in a burning house or an overturned sport-ute, let’s trade a couple of radio waves to be able to make that 911 call.

City councillors should act on behalf of the citizens, and if the majority of Nanaimoites are scared of cell towers, then maybe we really can’t build them. We’re scared of heights, though, too, and scared of the dark and monsters under the bed. Are any of these fears rational?

The next time someone wants to build a much-needed cell tower in Nanaimo, let’s make the right call.

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