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MISSISSAUGA — A cell phone tower in Churchill Meadows that had some residents of the community in a tizzy will be moving, according to the City councillor representing the area.
Ward 10 Councillor Sue McFadden had a meeting earlier in July with Wind Mobile about the tower that went up in a plaza in the Ninth Line and Erin Centre Blvd. area. The councillor proposed an alternative location for the tower along the Hwy. 407 corridor that she said Wind is amenable to.
McFadden said Wind has told her the tower will be coming down.
“I think it will be a win-win for everyone but, unfortunately, it’s not going to happen overnight,” said McFadden.
Resident Hubert Saldanha, who said the tower is about 50 metres from his home, wants to see the structure come down as soon as possible and is frustrated that it’s still up in his neighbourhood.
“I have my doubts until it actually happens,” said Saldanha. “It all depends on when they’re going to move it and how soon they’re going to do it.”
When he first contacted The News, Saldanha was upset with the tower being placed so close to his home and the fact it went up without Wind letting the community know as per Industry Canada regulations. Industry Canada had told Wind it had to consult with the community, despite the fact the tower was already up.
Mississauga-Erindale MP Bob Dechert, who has been monitoring the situation and had reached out to Industry Canada about it, said he was pleased to hear the tower would be moved.
“Despite the fact that initially Industry Canada’s consultation process wasn’t followed, I believe the resulting action by the community, along with the work by the City, are exactly what Industry Canada envisioned when setting forth the new process for approval,” said Dechert.
Meanwhile, McFadden said Wind will have to consult with the public on the new location.
In February, Industry Canada made changes to its antenna tower siting policy. The changes included requiring companies to consult communities on cell tower installations regardless of height, build the tower within three years of the community consultations and ensure residents are well informed of upcoming consultations.
Homeowners in the Mineola, Oakridge and Clarkson communities have all fought battles against cell towers in the past few years, citing the unknown possible health risks and arguing the structures could affect property values.
In 2012, the City received a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care report that stated that the typical levels of radio frequency energy emitted by cell towers are 1,000 times below the specified limits for public exposure.