Credit the District of West Vancouver for making a concerted effort to engage with its residents over the thorny issue of cell tower placement in the community.
Because at least 100 people were turned away from Wednesday evening's town hall meeting, the district will hold another on Oct. 16 to accommodate them. That's good civic engagement.
Whether the negative sentiment expressed towards the new cell towers by almost all at Wednesday's meeting is representative of majority opinion in West Vancouver is difficult to assess. But clearly many residents are worried by the possibility of long-term harmful side effects from electromagnetic radiation.
We have run letters in this paper on both sides of the issue, but are not in a position to judge. There are close to 100 microwave transmitters already on the North Shore. But it does concern us that some countries have moved to adopt more stringent safety codes than Canada.
Unfortunately, West Vancouver has no say in the decision-making process - that remains in the hands of Industry Canada.
The only way the location of the three towers slated for Highway 1 in West Vancouver (and others yet to be debated) would see their planned locations changed would be if the land owner - in this case the province - was to withdraw its building permission.
So, in some ways, Wednesday's town hall meeting and the one to come set up false expectations. Unless the province can be persuaded to say no, the best compromise for opponents may be to try and secure contract language between B.C. and Rogers that could resite the towers if Canadian safety standards were to change.
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