Gabriola radio tower proposal raises concerns

NANAIMO – Residents worried about proposal for 40-metre tower.

Gabriola Radio Society’s proposal to build a radio tower is raising concerns among residents.

The society wants to build a 40-metre tower on property located at the end of Chernoff Drive.

During the public meeting hosted by the Gabriola Island Local Trust Committee last month, residents voiced opposition.

“The neighbours had extreme concerns,” said Ken Zakreski, radio society president. “The process was beneficial. The community had a chance to voice concerns, even though some were out of the scope of the tower proposal. I think it brought some calm to the process.”

Zakreski said the meeting was productive and the Islands Trust did a good job of mediating questions and explaining what Industry Canada considered relative to the proposal decision.

The meeting also enabled the society and Trust representatives to address concerns and misinformation that was circulating, he said.

A common concern among those gathered was potential health effects of the tower.

Zakreski said the tower will be operated well below Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 regulations that govern the acceptable amount of radiation emitted.

Concerns about the esthetics of the tower were also raised, but Zakreski said the tower would be built to resemble a Douglas fir tree that has been struck by lightning to better blend into the environment.

Residents also question whether a cell reception antenna would be added to the tower in the future.

Zakreski said at this point, the society does not intend to pursue any deal that would add a cell reception antenna; however, the society says that is a separate issue.

According to the Island’s Trust document – Process Overview Gabriola Radio Society Radio Tower Proposal – there are three concerns that aren’t considered by Industry Canada when making a decision about radio towers and antenna.

Industry Canada doesn’t consider disputes about the service that aren’t related to the antenna installation, the effects the proposed antenna will have on property values and questions regarding whether Safety Code 6, local bylaws or other legislation are valid and need reform.

Sheila Malcolmson, one of three Gabriola Island Trust local committee members and chairwoman of the broader Islands Trust council, said much of the community supports the idea of a community radio station, but the challenge is balancing that support with tower concerns and the desire to maintain their lifestyle.

The society has pursued the quest for a community based radio station on 98.7 FM to provide local musicians, actors, and community groups a platform to broadcast their talent and ideas.

That pursuit included butting heads with Rogers Media when Rogers applied under the CRTC to build a repeater station on Salt Spring Island to boost its signal. If that application was approved it would have made 98.7 FM unusable because channels are not allowed to interfere with each other.

The Gabriola Island Trust is accepting comments on the issue until Wednesday (July 25). People are asked to send comments by e-mailing cfox@islandstrust.bc.ca, faxing 250-247-7514 or mailing Gabriola Island Local Trust Committee at 700 North Rd., Gabriola Island, B.C., V0R 1X3.

A staff report is expected by today (July 19), including the planner’s recommendations on the issue.

The issue will be discussed at the next local Trust committee meeting on July 26. Trustees could decide to support or oppose the proposal and send their decision to Industry Canada, or to defer the matter and conduct further research.

reporter3@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

The Nanaimo sign at Maffeo Sutton Park could be hazardous for children, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo sign will cause falls

Children can’t resist climbing on sign, says letter writer

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomy by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Nanaimo rapper Sirreal plays the Port Theatre on June 25. (Photo courtesy Alanna Morton)
Nanaimo rapper Sirreal and friends play the Port Theatre

Live-streamed concert the second in venue’s Discovery Series highlighting local artists

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above seasonal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above normal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Heat wave will see Nanaimo temperatures rise 5-10 degrees above normal

Sun with highs of 28 C forecast by Environment Canada for Harbour City on Sunday and Monday

According to a staff report, Regional District of Nanaimo has seen some $13.6 million in grant applications approved between Jan. 1 and May 15. (News Bulletin file)
Close to $14 million in money granted to RDN in first half of year

Successful grants include more than $4 million for transit service in Regional District of Nanaimo

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding partnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read