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General News · 12th January 2023
Christine Robinson
File BC109114 (Rexford Road), and File BC109130 (Whaletown)

I am writing in opposition to the proposed telecommunications Telus tower at the end of Rexford Road as the current proposal stands (and the proposed Telus tower in Whaletown at a later date), until there is further, adequate, intelligent and transparent information provided to the Cortes community.

There are too many questions on many controversial issues and I strongly ask for a Cortes community-wide meeting with representatives from Telus (not a paid advocate), Brian Gregg/Sitepath Consulting, Innovation, Science, & Economic Development Canada (ISED) /Spectrum Victoria, the Sla'aminn Band Council, and Mark Vonesch as our SRD director.

These are my personal views and not representative of the community organizations & Boards that I volunteer for.

I am opposed for a number of reasons – 1) inadequate & misinformation, 2) community outcry & insufficient consultation, 3) health concerns for humans, especially children, and 4) health effects on flora & fauna.

1) Information on what cell service will actually be provided is unclear and confusing, and there are too many questions for proceeding at this date.
The current proposal is for 4th generation, but what is 4th generation and what will it offer on
Cortes Island? 5th generation is planned for the future, but when is that, what will it offer, and will it be needed should 5G be installed?
Telus is not responding with ‘integrity and transparency’ on what the service will be and on
acknowledgement of the widespread health concerns of electromagnetic frequency.

I clearly support the safety of the Cortes Island community regards emergency response to fire and ambulance concerns. The question being raised is how much emergency communication will be improved through the Telus tower(s) and what is the best technology that serves this? This question is not meant to devalue the incredible services offered by the 2 fire departments, the health centre, and the paramedic team.

2) This is the 3rd proposal for a Telus tower in the Manson’s Landing area, and all 3 proposals have resulted in strong opposition via 100+ public letters on Tideline; to Telus; and to Innovation, Science, & Economic Development Canada (ISED), including the first proposal that was rejected by the SRD due to inadequate community consultation. The outcry, concerns and polarity on this one issue are more than sufficient to call for a ‘halt and time-out’ to Telus and a much needed, intelligent community examination of what is being proposed and a better understanding of the reasons for and against the erection of any telecommunications towers. The Telus tower(s) are a substantial, very significant infrastructure being proposed for Cortes Island, and I don’t believe there has been adequate public consultation and meeting.

3) The health concerns for humans, and especially children, of the long-term affects exposed to 24-hour electromagnetic frequency is unknown because this new technology is not supported by long-term scienctific studies. However, there are enough independent, science or medical studies which raise enough health & social questions to support taking a precautionary principle until more is known.
For a brief summary of scientific reviews and links, see Tideline (Dan Peters, December 20/22).

4) The health effects on flora, fauna and biodiversity loss overlap with the concerns listed above, but given the global loss of biodiversity, species extinction and climate crisis, this issue deservedly stands on its own. Has Telus conducted any biological, ecosystem, science-based studies as a benchmark before undertaking such a significant environmental alteration? Have there been enough scientific studies of exposure to 24-hour electromagnetic frequency on flora & fauna? And specifically, what are the consequences to the local and migratory bird populations of such a structure?
See Tideline (Kristen Scholfield Sweet, December 18, 2022).

In conclusion, I ask Telus to halt their current proposal so that the Cortes community has time to collectively work together (including the Tla'amin Nation) to more fully understand the questions and answers (where answers can be provided) in front of us so that we can better meet the safety and communication needs of this community.

Christine Robinson, Whaletown

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