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Scugog sends cell tower projects back to the drawing board


DAN CEARNS The Standard


SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog council delighted several residents when they voted to provide letters of non-concurrence for multiple telecommunication tower projects at a recent meeting.

The tower projects are owned by Shared Tower Inc. and are located at 225 Platten Boulevard, 23400 Simcoe Street and 19500 Highway 12. The letters will be provided to the company as well as Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

When a letter of non-concurrence is provided, companies have two options. They can withdraw their application for a telecommunication tower, or request ISED to intervene. Noting concerns about the tower developments, Scugog council had originally been seeking a dispute resolution process with Shared Tower Inc. However, under new regulations from Canada’s Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems Client Procedures, the Township was limited to providing a letter of concurrence or non-concurrence.

“Thank you for listening to us, for hearing our concerns, especially in a time when people don’t necessarily feel like their voices are heard,” resident Elizabeth Freeman said.

Resident Fouad Shuhaiber said he was “very happy to hear” the letter of non-concurrence was being chosen.

However, Ward 3 Councillor Robert Rock expressed his concern with what he felt was the Township “changing the rules of the game well into the process of consultation.”

CAO Ken Nix responded, stating, based on previous council direction, the ability to issue a letter of concurrence “was not available.”

Ward 1 Councillor David LeRoy clarified, it was ISED’s process which had changed and not the Township’s.

“The only way to trigger further dialogue and discussions is to issue a non-concurrence [letter],” he added.

In March, residents questioned the need for new cell towers and noted other potential concerns, such as changes to the aesthetic landscape and health concerns.

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17. Juni

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