Residents, city vow to fight cellphone tower
Opponents of a plan to erect a cellphone tower in a west end St. John's neighbourhood fear they've lost their battle with Bell Mobility.
Nonetheless, both residents and at least one city councillor os vowing to continue the fight to stop the tower from going up on land owned by the Anglican Church.
Bell wants to put the structure in the middle of a residential area, and about 90 metres from St. Mary's Elementary School.
That's not sitting well with parent Patricia Walsh-Warren.
"The World Health Organization and Health Canada have both said that there's not enough known about these towers and the long-term health effects they can bring," said Walsh-Warren.
"More research is needed. Bottom-line: why would we want to play with someone's health?"
Now there are unconfirmed reports that the telecommunications giant is moving ahead — regardless of the opposition.
Coun. Tom Hann said there's little the city can do since telecommunications falls under federal jurisdiction.
"We still have not had an application to build a tower, and I guess the intimation is that they don't have to. And that's probably right," said Hann.
Hann said in the past the city has managed to find a compromise with such proposals. This time, however, he fears the city is being side-stepped.
"You have to consult with the city, you have to consult with the residents, you have to have the open communication. If you're not going to do that, and you start going down that road of non-consulting, then you are drawing a line in the sand."
Hann said that's something the city is not willing to accept, adding they will still fight the plan by Bell.
It's a sentiment shared by people in the neighbourhood, including Walsh-Warren.
"We're hoping it doesn't come to that, and that Anglican Homes Incorporated realizes that, you know, we're neighbours ... we want to be good neighbours, and we want to bring this back to the neighbourhood and leave the big corporations out of it."
Anglican Homes says it will have a formal response to the controversy in a few days.
Until that time, they are not commenting.
CBC is still waiting for a response from Bell Mobility.