In addition to this cell towers note, Cortes Currents continues to cover many stories related to the Regional District and I am so grateful for their coverage. Some recent ones include:
SRD Approves 2021 Cortes Island Grant-In-Aid Allocations: https://cortescurrents.ca/srd-approves-cortes-island-grant-in-aid-allocations/
Noba Anderson vs the SRD Dismissed: https://cortescurrents.ca/noba-anderson-vs-the-srd-dismissed/
Wireless vs Fiber Optic on Cortes Island: https://cortescurrents.ca/wireless-vs-fibre-optic-on-cortes-quadra/#more-95682
Thank-you all for your letters calling for a better community consultation process regarding Telus’ proposed cell towers. In addition to calling for a better process, most of you who wrote in passionately articulated why you do not support the erection of cell towers, and especially the use of 5G technology. I, and more importantly Telus, received some 60 of your letters over the last many weeks. We will make sure that these letters are also received by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the decision-maker on the approval of these proposed towers.
The SRD Board Chair wrote to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to bring to their attention that TELUS has not engaged the Cortes Island and Quadra Island communities in any meaningful manner regarding the proposed cell towers and that the SRD opposes any permission granted by ISED to construct cellular towers on both Cortes and Quadra Islands until the communities has been properly consulted and support the construction of the proposed cell towers.
The Regional District has since had discussions with ISED staff to determine whether the consultation process proposed by Telus is sufficient to meet the application standards for locating and constructing cell towers. ISED staff have brought clarity to the cell tower siting requirements and have assured the Regional District that, in order for Telus to be successful with its application, the local government jurisdiction will have to provide a letter of concurrence that supports the installation of the cell tower. With that assurance, the Regional District is in a position to ensure that Telus follows a comprehensive consultation process that properly addresses community interests and leads to an informed decision on whether the Regional Board will provide support for the cell towers or not.
Today, I wrote the following short and clear note to Brian Gregg at Telus. Hello Brian
It seems that, given your public input deadline at the end of June, that letters from my constituents have stopped for the time being. Reviewing all the 60 some letters written in the last many weeks, I have found only one that is in favour of cell towers at this time. All others want a better community consultation process and many want nothing to do with cell towers here at all.
So, at this time I am writing to you, as Regional Director for Cortes Island to the Strathcona Regional District, to advise that you do NOT have my support at this time for the erection of any cell towers on Cortes Island.
After the Connected Coast project is in the water and our last mile fibre is in the ground, and after Telus has conducted a meaningful public engagement process on Cortes Island that is supported by the Regional District, then I will be willing to re-engage with you and your colleagues on this matter.
Sincerely, Noba Anderson
You will be getting some good information in the next few days from the Connected Coast project about their last mile fiber build-out this coming fall. I strongly encourage you all to receive the offered free fibre drop to your home, with no obligation to connect to the service. I am delighted by the recent announcement by Twincomm of its agreement to work collaboratively with CityWest and the Connected Coast project to manage a smooth transition of service for us all. https://www.cortesisland.com/tideline/show13750a0x50y1z/News_from_Twincomm_
I want to extend a HUGE thank-you to Twincomm for its years of truly excellent community-centered service. We have benefited immeasurably from the connectivity that they have provided for so many years. Here is to us all improving our connectivity in true collaboration while still protecting the rural and somewhat unplugged and unzapped life that so many treasure.
With all my love to all of you this summer.
Warmly, Noba Aderson