Rogers vs. Chateauguay: Canadian Supreme Court rules that cities cannot block location of cell towers.

June 17, 2016.  Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that, since the telecom industry comes under the jurisdiction of the federal government, municipalities have no say in the placement of cell phone towers or antennas.  While this simply upholds what has already been happening, it never-the-less comes as a disappointment to those concerned about the health effects of microwave radiation.supreme-court-canada

Canada top court rules Quebec city cannot block cell tower

Cities have no say on location of cellphone towers: SCC

Supreme Court rules Quebec city can’t stop Rogers from building cellphone tower

Supreme Court rules in favour of Rogers in cell tower dispute

Supreme Court rules Quebec city can’t stop Rogers from building cellphone tower

Supreme Court rules in favour of Rogers in cell tower dispute

When a cell phone provider finds an area with a gap in coverage, they apply to Industry Canada for a permit.  If they want to build a tower taller than 15 feet they need to hold a public meeting and inform people in the neighbourhood.  If the municipality opposes the location then Industry Canada becomes the arbitrator and rules in favour of either the wireless provider or the community. So far, most of the rulings have supported the wireless industry.  Yesterday that became law.

So people need not waste their time opposing something they are legally not entitled to oppose.  This will facilitate more towers going up as the land can be expropriated and there is nothing municipalities can do.

Health Effects of Microwave Radiation

This ruling–by the highest court in the country–had nothing to do with the health effects of microwave radiation, which was the original basis for opposing the original site Rogers selected in Chateauguay as it was near a residential area.

I was involved as an expert witness for Chateauguay providing evidence that microwave radiation, at levels well below Health Canada’s guideline, causes adverse biological and health effects.  See previous postings on this issue.

Feb 20, 2013–Health Canada admits Safety Code 6 guideline for microwave radiation is based ONLY on thermal effects!

Mar 2, 2013–Follow-up to Hearing before Superior Court of Quebec re: Rogers and Chateauguay.

Jun 2, 2015–Telecommunications towers dossier: Court of appeal gives nod to City of Châteauguay

$25 Million Dollar NTP Study shows Microwave Radiation causes Tumors in Male Rats

What is ironic is that just a few weeks ago (May 27, 2016), the National Toxicology Program in the U.S. released a report documenting that microwave radiation at the modulations used by cell phones causes tumours in male rats, the same type of tumours that people get who use cell phones for more than 10 years.

Released by Microwave News:

May 25, 2016–Cell Phone Radiation Boosts Cancer Rates in Animals, U.S. Government Expected To Advise Public of Tumor Risk

Released by National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences:

May 27, 2016–Report of Partial findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley® SD rats (Whole Body Exposure)

This document received a lot of attention and is probably the first time that U.S. federal agencies are taking the health effects of microwave radiation seriously.

There was a lot of spins on this report.  See …

SPIN vs FACT: National Toxicology Program report on cancer risk from cellphone radiation

Setting the Record Straight on NTP Cell Phone Cancer Study, Ron Melnick Corrects ‘Misinformation,’

Another multi-million dollar study published in 1992 also documented an increase in primary and metastatic tutors in laboratory rats exposed to microwave radiation but, in that study, the frequency was 2.4 GHz, the same frequency used in microwave ovens and Wi-Fi.  See Chou et al. 1992.

International EMF Scientist Appeal

In 2015,  a group of international EMF Scientists submitted an Appeal to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environmental Program and the UN State of Nations stating just that … current international guidelines do not protect the public against radio frequency and microwave radiation.  This group of 220 researchers from 40 countries had nine requests.

See my posting …


Read the appeal here:

So where does that leave us?

Instead of citizens wasting their time opposing individual sites that are too close to schools, daycare centres, hospitals, and residential areas, the responsibility reverts back to Industry Canada to ensure buffer zones are in place prior to giving site approval to the telecom industry.  It is time for both Industry Canada and Health Canada to heed the warning from the $25 million NTP report and to recognize that microwave radiation is harmful at levels to which people are currently exposed.

Several studies have shown that people who live near cell phone antennas are more likely to develop and die from various types of cancers.  Who is now responsible for these deaths?  Is it the wireless providers that emit this radiation; Health Canada that sets the inadequate guidelines; Industry Canada that provides site permits; or the property owner who benefits financially from leasing the land?  This is an important issue for the legal community and ethicists to consider.

Had the Supreme Court Justices known about the health effects of microwave radiation would they have voted the same way?  I wonder!