|Mock up of Kemp Lake Road Proposed Cell Tower|
We received a letter from Freedom Mobile around May 24, 2017, proposing a 45 m tall mobile cell tower on a neighbouring property on Kemp Lake Road. Our household was numb for the first couple of weeks. We had moved here a few years ago wishing to have a nice country life and a safe environment for our young children.
Telecommunications is a federal issue, but we still contacted our local authorities, attended the Sooke meeting of the whole June 19, 2017, about other cell towers proposed in Sooke to understand the issue better. Freedom was not obliged to have an open hearing in Otter Point beyond a letter of public input, but they were willing to do so if requested.
We went door to door with a petition to have the cell tower located elsewhere. We were struck by how many neighbours felt powerless in this process. Everyone we approached signed to have the tower relocated—20 signatures in all. We sent a cover letter and the petition to MP Randall Garrison’s office, and copied the letter to Freedom Mobile and the CRD Planning Office.
Our MP, Juan de Fuca Regional Director, CRD Planning Department and Otter Point and Shirley Resident and Ratepayers Association have all supported our proposal to have this cell tower built away from housing. Freedom contacted us explaining that a new location for the cell tower may be considered, but this is to be confirmed. We are in limbo for now.
We do appreciate the support from the authorities and Freedom’s willingness to re-evaluate their proposal, but we found it alarming that health and property value concerns were not taken seriously, our rural community as a whole is not included in the consultation process and that companies are federally permitted to have this much “freedom” when establishing itself near private households. This is an exercise in re-evaluating our legislative procedures, as well as the location of cell towers.
~ Christine Bossi
Editor's note: The following is a web site of all the cell towers in Canada.
Zoom to the Sooke area to see local towers: