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Archived - Harper Government Making Changes to Cell Tower Placement Rules

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New rules will ensure individual Canadians have their say on cell towers in their communities

February 5, 2014 – Ottawa – Industry Canada

Over the last 20 years, wireless services have grown into something that Canadian consumers rely on every day. As a result, we are seeing an increasing number of new cell towers being constructed in our communities. The placement of these towers is becoming ever more divisive with the rapidly increasing demand for wireless services.

Canadians deserve to have a say in how new cell tower locations are identified in their communities. Improvements to Industry Canada's Antenna Tower Siting Policy will ensure that local residents and municipal governments are at the forefront of the tower placement process.

The changes to the policy guiding the installation of new antenna towers will require companies to:

  • consult communities on all commercial tower installations, regardless of height;
  • build the tower within three years of consulting with communities; and
  • ensure that residents are well-informed of upcoming consultations.

The improvements will also strengthen federal communications with the public on tower siting procedures, including new online resources on the process, and new reporting mechanisms to track tower issues and report back to communities.

These measures build on the Harper Government's current tower sharing policies that require companies to first look at sharing existing tower infrastructure, whenever they can, to reduce the number of new towers needed in each community.

Canadian consumers expect their government to make decisions that will deliver more choice, lower prices and better service in the wireless sector for all Canadians. The Government of Canada will continue to work with the wireless sector in the weeks ahead on ways to more effectively balance the concerns of local communities.

For more information, see the backgrounder.

Quick facts

  • Under the existing cell tower siting policy, a company is only required to consult the community when it plans to build an antenna tower taller than 15 metres.
  • Before any company can build a new cell tower, it is required to look at alternatives like whether there is an existing tower in the same area that it can share.
  • All antenna towers, no matter the height, location or power, have to satisfy Industry Canada's technical requirements and comply with Health Canada's rules to ensure the safety of Canadians.

Quotes

"The placement of new cell towers is often a divisive issue in communities across Canada. It is essential that residents be at the centre of the process to determine the location of a new tower, and it is up to the wireless industry to ensure that local voices are heard. These new rules will give communities a better say in the placement of new cell towers."

– James Moore, Minister of Industry

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Contacts

Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry
613-995-9001

Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502
media-relations@ic.gc.ca


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