Cell Tower Issue

The video above was filmed on December 19th, 2011. It shows the reason why the Town of Oakville Council members passed a motion to allow the Emergency Response tower at the Bronte Firehall Station # 1 to now house commercial cellular services. This passed motion was a dis-service to the firefighters and Oakville residents since they completely disregarded the best interest of these brave men. The Firefighters Union prohibits the placement of cell towers on firehall property.

The Town of Oakville Councillors who were opposed to this motion include: Ralph Robinson, Alan Johnston, Cathy Duddeck and Pam Damoff – the 4 Councillors who did what was in the best interest of the firefighters and local residents.

This was a financial transaction between Halton Regional Police and Bell Canada.  Bell Canada proposed that they would provide free police wireless services on a tower in Milton in exchange for the the rights to install commercial cell phone antenna on the emergency antenna at Bronte Firehall 1 in Oakville.  That offer was accepted by Police Chief Gary Crowell. Important information – Please read this Feb 12 press release from Halton Regional Police – They are now looking for a new Police chief.

Here are the key factors why Oakville Town Council should not have supported and passed the motion to allow an emergency firehall tower to be used for commercial purposes:

  • Siting negative health effects from exposure to microwave radiation, The International Association of Firefighters passed a resolution in 2004 prohibiting the use of commercial cell phone antenna on firehall property until it could be proved that it was safe.  In 2011, The International Association for Research on Cancer classified cell antenna radiation to be a possible cause for cancer. CLICK HERE to watch a video.   It is consciously unfathomable that the retiring Police Chief would now ignore the resolution of the AIFF when the WHO declared cell phone antenna as a possible cause of cancer.  We understand that the police need emergency radio services in Milton, but to potentially harm the lives of their fellow firefighters in Oakville to accomplish their goal and at the same time disregard their firefighter resolution – this is something, we as a community cannot accept and are astonished to learn about.
  • The intended use of the Bronte tower was only for police and fire emergency use and not Commercial Cellular services – the firemen and everyone in the Oakville community knows this was the intent of the tower.
  •  There was no notification to the community that the emergency services tower would now house commercial cellular services. The Bell agreement was signed and accepted before any notice to residents and Council.

In the past, the Mayor of Oakville and Town Council Council have come to the defence of it’s citizens when faced with a wireless cellular company that wanted to install their antenna in a sensitive community setting.  The wireless industry and communities across Canada know that Oakville has a much more strict antenna setting policy and therefore the telecommunication companies must go to greater lengths to infiltrate antennas deep into the community.

Click Here to read  their latest antenna setting policy.

It is therefore understandable to all that wireless providers like Bell are now willing to go to unusual lengths by offering special favours to the police department in exchange for prime access to the off limit, community sensitive areas Oakville community.

We are not trying to ban cell towers in Oakville. We just want them placed in industrial areas, away from our firehalls, schools and in front of our homes.  We all have great cell phone access in Oakville. Do we really need more towers? People complain about dropped calls when they are driving.  Well, there are now laws against driving and talking on a phone. I causes accidents.  Get a cell phone antenna if you drop calls while driving.

The bottom line

Is it possible that  Town Council felt pressured by the Police department to make the wrong decision to place their fireman and citizens of Bronte at risk without even advising them? Financial or back room deals should never come at the expense of courageous firefighters, residents, taxpayers and people who elect you to office. The Town of Oakville has a vision to be “ most liveable town” and the government went against this vision and the residents of the Oakville.

We are asking that Mayor Burton, The OLD or NEW Police Chief and Town Council reconsider its decision and honour the International Association of Firefighters Resolution as this is not in the best interest of the firefighters and residents of Oakville. This topic should be given more time and attention since it impacts the Oakville residents’ health and safety.