Cell tower in church parking lot draws ire of neighbours
A plan by Rogers Communications to erect a cell tower in the parking lot of a Saskatoon church is drawing the ire of people who live in the neighbourhood.
"It's an abomination to people who are Christians, or of any faith, to have a multi-conglomerate like Rogers to want a build a tower in the church parking lot," said Glen Royer, a resident of the east side Saskatoon area where the communications tower might go.
Royer, and dozens of others, attended an open house Thursday night to meet corporate officials and learn more about the plan.
The proposed tower would be 30 metres tall and include a cross on the top. It would be built beside the Preston Avenue Community Church.
One indicator of how the plan was received was noted in the number of free bags of jellybeans and Rogers fridge magnets at a sign-in table that were taken by people attending the open house: None.
One participant told CBC News that including a cross on the top of the communications tower was out of step with the community.
"If you go anywhere in Saskatoon I don't think you're going to see a tower that's a 100 feet tall with a cross on the top of it," Les Barrington said.
The open house is part of a community consultation required by Industry Canada prior to proceeding with construction.
Company officials spoke with people at the meeting, but when news media posed questions, reporters were asked to direct questions to a corporate email account for Rogers.
Some people in the neighbourhood have launched a petition, gathering names of people opposed to the project.
The church is in the heart of a predominantly residential area.
The pastor of the church was not at Thursday night's open house, but has said he likes the tower plan and the inclusion of the cross in the design.
With files from CBC's Dan Zakreski