City hosting open house on telecommunication structures in Prince Rupert
With the rise in telecommunications, the majority of people would agree having faster and more reliable service is a welcomed idea.
But most would also admit having a large telecommunication tower or antenna in the close proximity of their homes isn't as desirable of an idea.
Countless people across the country, in places as close as Port Edward and Thornhill, have had to deal with the unfortunate situation of having Industry Canada erect an antenna or tower near their property with virtually no way of stopping it. Telecommunication falls under Industry Canada's federal jurisdiction, including the towers and antennas they deem necessary.
In Prince Rupert, only a number of antennas have been erected over the last number of years with little fuss, including atop of Mount Hays, the Highliner Hotel, near Butze Rapids, Fairview Terminal and most recently Northwest Community College.
To avoid future contention, Prince Rupert city planner Zeno Krekic said setting up a protocol will help clarify jurisdictional issues and give council a set of reasonable clear rules.
“I really don't have an appetite for controversy, I would much rather have clear rules,” Krekic said.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association created a document providing local governments with a protocol template, giving municipalities a method to develop customized protocols for antenna systems within their municipalities that is supported by the telecommunications industry and consistent with Industry Canada rules.
The template encourages the creation of local protocol guidelines that are relevant to municipalities.
The City will be gathering public input as part of the process by holding an open house at the beginning of May, allowing Rupertites to express where they believe structures should and shouldn't be in Prince Rupert, and what structures they would like to regulate. It will also let people express whether they would like to see a colour scheming option, or other ways to conceal structures.
“My question through [the open house] is for people to tell me what they think; I'm trying to seek what people think. I don't have magical answers,” Krekic said.
“This is a time to participant, and if you wish not to ignorance is not bliss.”
The open house will take place on May 1 at Northwest Community College in the Multi-Purpose room. Doors will open at 6:30, with a presentation starting at 7 p.m., followed by a public comment period.
Staff will bring the customized template to council to adopt on May 27, and if passed it will be sent to Industry Canada to determine whether it agrees with the customized protocols or not.