Report On the National Antenna Tower Policy Review (sf08368)


  1. 116 Ibid. at p. 7.
  2. 117 Ibid. CPC at pp. 8-9..
  3. 118 In a very recent case heard before the Federal Court of Canada an injunction was issued by the court which ensured compliance with an order by Industry Canada to an amateur radio operator to reduce the height of his antenna tower to 40 feet above ground level. The amateur had not complied with the consultation process for Type 2 antenna installations. See: Minister of Industry v. James W. Thompson, (2004) Docket: T-569-3; 2004 FC 265 (FCTD).
  4. 119 See: Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Policy: "Policy and Licensing Procedures for the Auction of Spectrum Licences in the 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz Bands," published September 2003 and revised July 2004, at p. 25.
  5. 120 The online Questionnaire results from the survey operated through the National Antenna Tower Policy Review Web site reveal that over 40% of respondents felt that the current time frames are "about right", although members of the public were less likely to feel this way than amateur radio users, members of industry or local government representatives.
  6. 121 See, for example, Radio Advisory Board of Canada Formal Written Submission dated 17 October 2003; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Formal Written Submission dated 23 October 2003; Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association Formal Written Submission dated 9 October 2003; Telus Communications Inc. Formal Written Submission dated 10 October 2003; Rogers Communications Inc. Formal Written Submission of October of 2003. Bell Wireless Alliance Submission dated 10 March 2004. The Radio Advisory Board of Canada stated that "While federal regulatory authorities cannot compel LUAs to participate or to meet filing deadlines, they can refuse to accept objections that have not been filed in a timely manner." (p. 5) While not an industry organization, the Canadian Department of National Defence, in its Formal Written Submission dated 26 September 2003 offered the following suggestion: "...the CPC could be reinforced for occasions when time limits - for the consultation process - are not respected by the LUA [land-use authority]. Industry Canada should be in a position to evaluate if a LUA has made every effort to respect these timeframes.".
  7. 122 CWTA Formal Written Submission, 9 October 2003 at p. 9.
  8. 123 Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2001, No. 2781 online: Her Majesty's Stationary Office <>.
  9. 124 Ibid. at A.3(7).
  10. 125 Telus Communications Inc. Formal Written Submission dated 10 October 2003.
  11. 126 Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association Formal Written Submission dated 9 October 2003 at pp. 8-9.
  12. 127 Rogers Communications Inc. Formal Written Submission at p. 13.
  13. 128 Broadcasters are directed to disclose the basic details of their antenna proposals to the relevant land-use authority no later than the day the broadcaster submits its application to Industry Canada.
  14. 129 Many of the formal written submissions made on behalf of the radiocommunication industry complained that Industry Canada has been much to hesitant to call an end to land-use consultations that have exceeded the time frame specified within CPC-2-0-03 and have little hope of reaching a negotiated resolution.
  15. 130 The Canadian Association of Broadcasters' suggestions are found at pp. 11-12 of its Formal Written Submission dated 17 October 2003.
  16. 131 Nora Hague Formal Written Submission dated 17 October 2003.
  17. 132 For example, Lloyd W. Hofmann, in his Formal Written Submission dated 3 July 2003, suggests a 14 day consultation process for installations under 25m, with 30 to 90 days for special/enhanced installations.
  18. 133 Radio Amateurs of Canada Formal Written Submission dated 10 October 2003 at
    pp. 13-14.
  19. 134 Timothy S. Ellam Formal Written Submission dated 16 October 2003 at p. 2.
  20. 135 City of Leduc Formal Written Submission dated 20 October 2003; City of Ottawa Formal Written Submission dated 29 October 2003.
  21. 136 City of Oshawa Formal Written Submission dated 6 August 2003 at p. 2.
  22. 137 Town of East Gwillimbury Formal Written Submission dated 8 August 2003.
  23. 138 Hidden Valley Community Association Formal Written Submission dated 22 October 2003.
  24. 139 Ciel noir et environment visuel Laurentides (CNEL) Formal Written Submission dated 14 September 2003.
  25. 140 The FCM elaborated, requesting the protection of municipal governments' jurisdiction to require consultations, enforce zoning by-laws, issue building permits, and require compliance with site plans for antenna towers. For more information, see the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Formal Written Submission dated August 2003 at pp. 9-12.
  26. 141 See, for example: Town of Caledon Formal Written Submission dated 26 June 2003 at protocol p. 9; Township of King Formal Written Submission dated 11 July 2003 at protocol p. 5; Regional Municipality of York Formal Written Submission dated 3  September 2003 at protocol p. 5.
  27. 142 This is true for the data received from the formal written submissions, the e-town hall discussion forum, the online survey, the New Maryland case study and the opinions obtained during in-person and telephone consultations conducted for this project.
  28. 143 Industry Canada, News Release, "Allan Rock Announces National Antenna Tower Policy Review Committee" (28 March 2003)
  29. 144 Since the late 1990s the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has complained to Industry Canada that some commercial antenna towers have been constructed without proper notification to the appropriate local government. The FCM has requested that amendments be made to CPC-2-0-03 that specify clear sanctions for antenna proponents who do not comply with the local consultation requirements. See: FCM Formal Written Submission August 2003 at p. 2.
  30. 145 Industry Canada has created and made available general information about radio antennas and about antenna towers. Pamphlets, videos and the Industry Canada Web site are used to disseminate this material. Much of it is in a FAQ (frequently asked questions) format.
  31. 146 Government of Canada Policy on Consulting and Engaging Canadians, Draft for Discussion, Treasury Board Secretariat, 24 September 2001 at pp. 1-2.
  32. 147 Some of the protocols describe their public consultation as a "community information session" rather than a public hearing. See, for example: Policy for Establishing Telecommunication Tower/Antenna Facilities, Town of Markham, Ontario, June 25, 2002 at pp. 3-4. Often, the phrase "community information session" means that an 'open house' format will be used rather than a town hall style of meeting.
  33. 148 City of Colwood, Antenna Consultation Policy, approved by City Council 28 January, 2002 and updated 27 May 2002 at pp. 2-3.
  34. 149 In a meeting held with executives and members of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), some carriers expressed the view that often the public meetings they convene at the request of municipalities are poorly attended by members from the community. From: CWTA consultation held 18 December 2003 in Ottawa. See also, Formal Written Submission by Telus Mobility of 10 October 2003 in which the carrier states that attendance at 'open houses' rarely exceeds 10 percent of those invited and that often their staff members outnumber the attendees. These comments can be found at pp. 7-8. It is submitted that there may be a number of reasons why many public consultations have not been well attended. For example, one municipality in the Prairies complained that the notice of meeting that was being used by one major carrier was contained within an envelope which was addressed to "occupant" and otherwise had the appearance of an advertising handbill when it arrived in the mailbox.
  35. 150 Within some of the formal written submissions filed by the major wireless carriers and in meeting with the carriers, objections were raised about protocols that attempt to expand the range or considerations beyond the minimization/mitigation of visual impact.
  36. 151 For the most part, this listing of filing requirements was taken from a draft protocol that is under development and discussion for the Town of Halton Hills, Ontario. Request from the municipality: Draft Protocol for Establishing Telecommunication Towers and Related Facilities, Planning Department of Halton Hills. See the filing requirements at pp. 2-3.
  37. 152 A copy of the standardized package of material for the public is attached to the Formal Written Submission filed by Telus Mobility dated 10 October 2003, as Appendix "B." The quotation can be found at p. 15 of the submission..
  38. 153 One of the conclusions offered within this policy review is that many of the consultation requirements contained within the protocols that have been negotiated between wireless carriers and Canadian municipalities extend (some) consultation obligations beyond those required within CPC-2-0-03 and they are beyond the authority that may be exercised through the constitutional powers accorded to provincial and territorial governments. This issue is discussed within the section on local protocols (Policy Question 4)..
  39. 154 Any provincial powers would have to be lawfully delegated to the local government level. Local governments obtain their powers from municipal statutes passed by provincial governments.
  40. 155 Some wireless carriers have attempted to respond to public concerns about RF exposure and the contents of Safety Code 6 by securing the services of a national expert who will attend to make a presentation and answer questions. The independence of such experts has been challenged at these meetings on the grounds that the expert's transportation costs, and possibly a consultancy fee, are being paid by the wireless carrier.
  41. 156 If a District Office anticipates that a public meeting held about a broadcasting, cellular or PCS installation will be contentious, it will send a staff person to observe.
  42. 157 As explained in Section C of this report, spectrum licensing does not involve the issuance of individual siting or radio station approvals by Industry Canada.
  43. 158 For example, licensing conditions for certain PCS service offerings determined by spectrum auction state "Within five years of the auction's close the licensee must demonstrate to the department [Industry Canada] that the spectrum has been put to use. The establishment of coverage of 50% of the population within the licensing service area, or some other indicator of usage that is acceptable to the department will be required." From: Licence Conditions for the Auction of Additional PCS spectrum in the 2 GHz Frequency Range, Licence Condition 14: Implementation of Spectrum Usage.
  44. 159 Often, wireless carriers are asked by land-use authorities and/or concerned citizens to establish particular services or improve the quality of current service offerings by making additional investments in the antenna infrastructure within a particular community. For example, in February of this year the Town of Oakville, Ontario convened a meeting with the PCS service providers serving its community to ask that additional antenna sites be established to improve the coverage for digital cellular services. From: Report of Administrative Services Committee, Town of Oakville, March 2, 2004 at p. 1.
  45. 160 For example, for an 'open house' style of public consultation held by Bell Mobility in Cambrian Heights (Calgary) on 30 January 2003, Bell created and circulated an impressive package of background material for the public that included an explanation as to why the 25 metre monopole antenna being proposed was needed to improve local service coverage.
  46. 161 There is very little possibility of EMI issues arising in relation to the establishment of cellular or PCS installations.
  47. 162 For example, applicants seeking a Broadcasting Certificate to establish a new AM broadcasting undertaking (AM radio antenna installation) must sign a commitment, printed on the application form, to correct or to offer advice in relation to certain EMI issues that may arise. See: Application for a Broadcasting Certificate AM (Amplitude Modulation) New Undertaking, Industry Canada Form: IC 2357BB, dated December 2001. The "Commitment" is set out at p. 2.
  48. 163 At public meetings related to the establishment of PCS tower installations held within the Atlantic Provinces during the previous five-year period, concerns expressed about the RF exposure issue have increased substantially in number and force.
  49. 164 It is difficult to know what percentage of the population has a high level of concern about the RF exposures that may be associated with fixed cellular or PCS antenna installations. In June of 2002 a professor at the University of Saskatchewan conducted a telephone survey of 200 adults residing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on their perceptions of the risks and benefits of cellular technology. According to the results of the survey these respondents had a low level of concern about exposures from the base station antenna installations. See: On the Visibility and Effectiveness of and Public Perceptions of Wireless Technology, Dr. M.D. Mehta, Associate Professor and Director, Sociology of Biotechnology Program, University of Saskatchewan, 28 January 2003 at p. 6..
  50. 165 See: Paul Slovic, Perceptions of Risk, Science, Volume 236, 17 April 1987, 280-285, at p. 280.
  51. 166 Often, factors such as these are called qualitative characteristics of risk perception. See generally, Risk Management: Guidelines for Decision-Makers, CAN/CSA-Q850-97, July 1997 and IEC/TC 56 (Sec.) 410 Guidelines for the Risk Analysis of Technological Systems, 1995.
  52. 167 A Review of the Potential Health Risks of Radiofrequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunication Devices, Expert Panel Report, The Royal Society of Canada, March 1999 online: <> at p. 3.
  53. 168 Recent Advances in Research On Radiofrequency Fields and Health: 2001-2003, Expert Panel Report, The Royal Society of Canada, 2004 online: <>. The Royal Society also published an update report in 2001, published in the Journal of Toxicology & Environmental Health, part B, Vol. 4-4, 2001.
  54. 169 The full title of Safety Code 6 has changed over the years. In 1979, the report title was: Safety Code 6 Recommended Safety Procedures for the Installation and Use of Radiofrequency and Microwave Devices in the Frequency Range of 10MHz - 300 GHz. The 1991 title was: Limits of Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields at Frequencies from 10 kHz - 300 GHz Safety Code 6, and the most recent version, published in 1999, is entitled: Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz Safety Code 6.
  55. 170 See, for example, R.G. Peters, V.T. Covello, and D.B. McCallum, The Determinants of Trust and Credibility in Environmental Risk Communication: An Empirical Study, Risk Analysis, Vol 17, 1997 at pp. 43-54.
  56. 171 WIRC is an independent, non-profit organization which provides independent and impartial information about research related to the health effects of wireless technology. Recently WIRC became affiliated with the McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment.
  57. 172 The McLaughlin Centre is located at the Institute of Population Health at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Daniel Krewski is the Director of the Centre.
  58. 173 It is interesting to note that some of the officials working for wireless carriers who were interviewed for this project expressed the view that discussions about RF exposure were beyond the scope of legitimate topics for land-use consultations.
  59. 174 "Memorandum of Understanding on Respective Responsibilities For Public Exposure to Electromagnetic Energy Produced by Radiocommunication Devices," between the Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications Sector of Industry Canada and the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch of the Department of Health, effective 3 August 2003. Currently, Industry Canada and Health Canada officials meet 2-3 times per year to discuss their respective and joint activities related to the establishment and implementation of Safety Code 6 as a national standard.
  60. 175 Within the responsibilities to be undertaken by the Department of Health is the obligation to assist Industry Canada, when invited, with the activities quoted above from section 5 of the MOU.
  61. 176 It should be noted that some of the participants to the public consultation for the National Antenna Tower Policy Review also expressed frustration about the absence of representatives from Health Canada at local consultations held about particular antenna installations. The respective roles of the two ministries in relation to local land-use consultation activities should be negotiated between them as an element of Industry Canada's national risk communication strategy on human exposure to radiofrequency fields. On this health and safety issue, representatives from Health Canada should, of course, have higher levels of credibility with land-use authorities and members of the public.
  62. 177 The City of Red Deer, in its Formal Written Submission, recommended that Safety Code 6 be explained to the public during consultations, and that basic printed material and Power Point presentations be available for use during consultations. Hardy Stevenson and Associates submit that Industry Canada and Health Canada should adopt a stronger role in educating the public about health and safety issues. As it stands, the carriers are forced to defend Safety Code 6 during public consultations, and the public does not view carriers as a neutral source for health information. From: Hardy Stevenson and Associates Formal Written Submission dated 25 September 2003. Telus Mobility proposes that Safety Code 6 and Transport Canada requirements should be a prominent part of the information package given by Industry Canada to the public. From: Telus Mobility Formal Written Submission dated 10 October 2003. The Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC) states that "questions raised from time to time domestically regarding the adequacy or interpretation of Safety Code 6 in the course of local consultations are, properly, matters for consideration by the appropriate national agencies. It is appropriate for proponents to direct interested persons to Health Canada, but individual site approvals should not be delayed due to issues raised regarding the adequacy of the standard itself." From: RABC Formal Written Submission dated 17 October 2003.
  63. 178 World Health Organization, Establishing a Dialogue on Risks from Electromagnetic Fields (Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2002) online: <>.
  64. 179 WHO, Establishing a Dialogue, p. 24.
  65. 180 See, for example, the Formal Written Submission of Colwood Transmission Towers Citizens' Committee, dated August 7, 2003 at p. 1. These views about the inadequacy of Safety Code 6 were made in person at a meeting held in Colwood, British Columbia on 21 August 2003. At its National Board of Directors Meeting in March of 2003 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) endorsed a policy on telecommunications towers and antennas that called for Safety Code 6 to be updated.
  66. 181 Citations for this research are listed on the Web site maintained by the McLaughlin Centre. These can be found at the URL: <>.
  67. 182 A public meeting held as part of a local consultation about a particular antenna proposal is not an appropriate forum to debate with the public the adequacy of Safety Code 6 as a national guideline for RF exposure. The information related to the adequacy of the Code should be provided as one element of a national risk communication strategy to be developed by Industry Canada.
  68. 183 For example, in August of 2003 a representative from the environmental public interest group, Ciel noir et environnement visuel Laurentides (CNEL) forwarded an email asking for basic information about the lighting of antenna towers.
  69. 184 Technical Standards and Procedures for Broadcasting Receiving Undertakings (Cable Television) BP-23, Issue 4, Rev.1, May 1995, Procedure 6.11.2 at p. 32.
  70. 185 Generally, the orange and white bands on antenna towers must be repainted on a five year cycle.
  71. 186 The company is called Cegeny, Inc. and it is based in Longueuil, Québec. The company plans to market these unit across North America.
  72. 187 These performance characteristics relate to typical cellular and PCS towers and were obtained from a consultation by teleconference call to Cegeny representatives on 5 April 2004. Apparently, Cegeny has commissioned engineering tests that have confirmed that beacons fitted with these deflectors continue to comply with Standard 621.19 requirements.
  73. 188 Many of the units were installed in 'cottage county' areas of Ontario where frequent complaints were made that the light from antenna beacons polluted the natural viewscapes.
  74. 189 Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz, Safety Code 6, 1999. A copy of the Code can be found on the Internet at the URL: <
  75. 190 From Safety Code 6, 1999 at p. 3 para. 2.
  76. 191 The exposure limits for members of the general public have a greater factor of safety on the presumption that RF workers are more knowledgeable about the possible health risks and can protect themselves.
  77. 192 Power density is not applicable at frequencies below 100 MHz. A power density of 10 W/m2 is equivalent to 1  W/cm2 .
  78. 193 CPC-2-0-03 at p. 4.
  79. 194 Ibid. CPC at p. 6.
  80. 195 Ibid. CPC at p. 8.
  81. 196 Information on the three step process was obtained from Industry Canada representatives and from a recent engineering study entitled "Radio Field Intensity of Multi-Site-Multi-Bands Antenna Towers" by Roshdy Hafez of Carleton University, 31 March 2003..
  82. 197 The exclusion list is based upon conservative estimates of the (typical) power density and field strength levels from certain categories of antenna installations.
  83. 198 Technical Note TN-261. Rev. 1 "Antenna Tower Evaluation Template for Radiofrequency Fields with Respect to Health Canada's Safety Code 6," 6 September 2002. .
  84. 199 Typically, the area of non-compliance is drawn as a box. This graphic depiction shows the minimum horizontal and vertical distance from the antenna where the public should not have access. If public access is blocked by a proper fence or a securely locked door (like to a rooftop) then compliance is not a problem.
  85. 200 Information gathered from emails received from Industry Canada.
  86. 201 Located at
  87. 202 The vast majority of amateur radio stations produce radiofrequency fields that are well within those specified under Safety Code 6. Problems may arise if it is possible for humans to get very close to the antenna, such as when it is mounted on the balcony of an apartment complex. Also, some amateurs actively experiment with the technical features of their stations (antenna types and heights, multiple frequencies and ERP (power)) such that compliance to SC 6 may require technical or operational adjustments.
  88. 203 These tables are published in Appendix 2 to the Broadcasting Procedure Rules, Part 1: General Rules (BPR Part 1), Issue 3, July 2004 at pp. 27-28.
  89. 204 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Formal Written Submission dated 23 October 2003 at p. 5.
  90. 205 Canadian Association of Broadcasters Formal Written Submission dated 17 October 2003 at p. 7.
  91. 206 RABC Formal Written Submission dated 17 October 2003 at pp. 8-10.
  92. 207 In 1997, the CWTA, some its members, and representatives from Industry Canada worked on the development of a computer program called RaPD Calc that predicts RF fields for compliance with Safety Code 6. While RaPD Calc is not longer widely used, the carriers are now employing the techniques and models developed for this software. See: CWTA Formal Written Submission dated 9 October 2003 at p. 10.
  93. 208 Lloyd W. Hoffman Formal Written Submission dated 3 July 2003.
  94. 209 Ralph Cameron Formal Written Submission dated 23 September 2003.
  95. 210 Ibid.
  96. 211 Radio Advisory Board of Canada Formal Written Submission dated 17 October 2003 at pp. 8-10.
  97. 212 Recommendations made in response to Policy Question 2 (What information would most benefit concerned members of the public...?) were intended to improve the public's perceptions about the timeliness and adequacy of the contents of Safety Code 6.
  98. 213 Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association Formal Written Submission dated 9 October 2003 at pp. 10-11; Telus Communications Inc. Formal Written Submission dated 10 October 2003 at pp. 5-6.
  99. 214 Spectrum Direct, Industry Canada online: <>.
  100. 215 The calculator can be found at <>.
  101. 216 <>.
  102. 217 <>.
  103. 218 <>.
  104. 219 See Safety Code 6 at Page 52.
  105. 220 An in-person consultation was held with staff of the Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Branch of Health Canada on 19 December 2003 in Ottawa.
  106. 221 Information about this RF field mapping device was presented at the International Union of Radio Science (U.S.), North American Radio Science Meeting, held June 22-27, 2003 in Columbus, Ohio. The title of the article is "Report on: Measurement of Cellular Base-Station Emissions Using a Newly Developed RF Field Mapping System." The article is available on the Health Canada Web site at the URL: <;.
  107. 222 As will be discussed subsequently within this section, at least one protocol exists that does not involve cellular and PCS antennas. In 1998, representatives from the amateur radio community and the City of Calgary negotiated a protocol for the siting of amateur antennas and supporting structures within residential areas of the city.
  108. 223 This information about North York was provided within the Formal Written Submission from the Bell Wireless Alliance, 12 March 2004 at p. 14.
  109. 224 PCS, the second generation of cellular system, was implemented first within major urban centres in Canada as an overlay to the existing analogue cellular infrastructure. Due the anticipated capacities of these digital PCS systems and because they operated at higher frequencies than analogue cellular networks, smaller cell sites and, in consequence, comparatively more antenna sites were required for each urban centre served.
  110. 225 In frustration over its role within the tower approval process, the City of Edmonton passed a bylaw in 1997 that attempted to institute a moratorium on the siting of antenna towers within its jurisdiction. Throughout June of 1997, representatives from Rogers (then Cantel), Telus, Microcell, Clearnet (later purchased by Telus) and Industry Canada worked with the City to find a satisfactory solution. The public consultation protocol which the City and the carriers negotiated and signed was one of Canada's first protocols to plan a role for public participation within the local land-use consultation process. The City of Edmonton repealed the moratorium and approved the new consultation protocol at a council meeting held on July 15, 1997.
  111. 226 Telus Mobility claims to have pioneered the negotiation of protocols with municipal governments, starting in 1996..
  112. 227 The avoidance of a public hearing has been a strong inducement for antenna tower proponents to work with the local land-use authorities in an attempt to site and screen antenna towers in such a manner as to minimize their visual impact. Local land-use authorities have inserted waiver provisions because they have realized that they were being permitted to exert direct influence upon tower placement and structural issues (e.g. type of supporting tower). Neither CPC-2-0-03 nor the Canadian constitution have clearly accorded influence over such matters.
  113. 228 The Calgary protocol, called "Statement of Principles Agreed to by the Carriers: Commitments to Calgary's Residential Communities," was signed by (then) Cantel, Telus, Microcell and (former) Clearnet in the late 1990s. Bell signed the protocol in 2003, a few years after it began offering PCS services in the Prairies. Both quotations can be found on the first page of the protocol.
  114. 229 This percentage for Ontario was offered by the Bell Wireless Alliance within its Formal Written Submission of 12 March 2004 at p. 14.
  115. 230 The FCM has maintained these postings and the samples can be found online at