Protecting Parks, Green Spaces and Children from Cell Towers

How to Fight a Cell Tower

Attached is a Cell Tower Manual on how to ?fight? a cell tower in your neighbourhood, based on the current challenge ongoing in Port Coquitlam. This has been put together by David Werthman, retired Director of Regulatory Affairs for Manitoba Telephone. Hope it provides helpful information and ideas on how to meet this challenge in other areas. It is also on our website under Cell Towers section.

Una St Clair-Moniz
Executive Director
Citizens for Safe Technology Society

Protecting Parks, Green Spaces and Children From Cell Towers

Letter to the Minister of Health

January 6, 2011

Dear Minister Aglukkaq,

I am writing in response to your letter dated December 23, 2010. How you can have the gall to send such a letter to a concerned parent is beyond comprehension. I have to wonder: did you read my letter at all?

You tell me that Health Canada uses Safety Code 6 as their safety standard. Was it not clear from my letter that I already knew that? Safety Code 6 is obsolete and irrelevant as it does not take into account known non-thermal biological effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

You tell me that ?Parents should consult their health practitioner to discuss any health concerns.? Did you perhaps fail to notice, as stated in my letter, that I am a health practitioner? The diagnosis of microwave sickness was not made lightly. Both repeated visits to our pediatrician and consults at Children?s Hospital have determined no cause for our daughter?s extreme headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, anxiety and muscle pain in the school building. In addition, all the children sensitive to Wi-Fi across the country are experiencing identical symptoms. This cannot be coincidence.

As for telling me that ?there is a lack of scientific evidence linking these symptoms to the presence of Wi-Fi?, you know as well as I do that no studies have been done to date specifically examining health concerns to children from EMR, nor have any studies been done examining low-level, long-term microwave radiation exposure. Children are not mini adults. They are physically more susceptible to microwave radiation than adults due to a thinner skull, a greater quantity of fluid surrounding the brain and special considerations such as rapid cell division as their bodies develop and grow. Safety standards based on adults cannot be extrapolated onto children. Additionally, there is a large body of scientific, peer-reviewed, published research confirming DNA breakage, blood-brain barrier permeability and build up of ornithine decarboxylase (a tumour-promoting compound) in cells caused by non-ionizing, non-thermal EMR at levels well below the current allowable level as well as research showing that children?s Specific Absorption Rate of EMR is higher than that for adults.

Your own government?s Standing Committee on Health has recommended that more research be done on long term effects of EMR, that an official reporting agency for microwave sickness symptoms be established, that Electrohypersensitivity be investigated and that an independent academic society reexamine all research on EMR as Health Canada?s objectivity appears to be compromised.

Beth Pieterson of Health Canada has stated that specific research cannot be done on children because of agreed upon international laws banning experimentation on children. However, the 1999 Royal Society report to Health Canada confirmed that the long-term effects of non-thermal, non-ionizing radiation were unknown and suggested that the exposed population be observed over a number of years to document health effects. This is the definition of human biological experimentation. There are indeed both Canadian and International laws concerning human experimentation, especially with regard to informed consent on behalf of children. While children are being irradiated daily at school without informed consent by their parents, Canada is contravening the Nuremberg Code, the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of a Child.

We do not consent to have our children be unwilling participants in the largest human experiment ever to be undertaken. Unfortunately, this also excludes the possibility of our children attending public school and creates many challenges for our family as we have no choice but to home school them until such time as the school environment can once more be deemed safe.

You know as well as I do that European countries are reducing their children?s exposure to EMR in large part due to Swisscom?s patent application in which there is admission of damage to DNA from Wi-Fi beacon signal radiation. You know as well as I do that the insurance industry will no longer insure the telecommunications industry because independent, non-industry funded researchers advised the insurers that the liability costs due to the epidemic of brain tumours expected between 2020 and 2030 would be so large that the insurance industry could face bankruptcy like it did with asbestos lawsuits. You know as well as I do that Health Canada is lobbied by the telecommunications industry. This is appalling. How can you allow the safety of this nation?s children to fall into the hands of industry?

The situation as it stands resembles closely the plight of people against the tobacco industry:

-Both EMR and tobacco smoke are air pollutants.

-The tobacco industry backed up their claims of safety with ?gold standard scientific research?.

-Second-hand EMR, like second-hand smoke is presently unavoidable (until restrictions are put in place).

-Although people under 19 were eventually not allowed to purchase or use tobacco products, tobacco companies continued to advertise to children for many years. You have to be an adult to be able to choose to use carcinogenic tobacco, but children are not only allowed to expose themselves to potentially carcinogenic EMR, they are bombarded with it every day at school even if they don?t want to use it.

-Smoking also used to be viewed as ?cool?, just as wireless devices and cell phones are now seen by so many in our society.

-Both the tobacco industry and the telecommunications industry have large enough resources to make standing up against them an extremely difficult task.

Will we learn from the lesson we were already taught by our trials with big tobacco, or will we simply repeat it, and irreversibly damage young children in the process?

The response to the written concerns of parents such as myself by Health Canada, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Health, the Prime Minister and any other political figure we try to get a straight answer from seems to be to play ?hot potato? with our letters. For instance, if we send a letter to the Minister of Education, she advises us that we should be writing to the Minister of Health and vice versa. This tactic is appalling and intolerable.

Your vague assurances of safety are inadequate and unacceptable. I found your letter both dismissive of the issue and insulting to my intelligence. With all due respect, you are failing utterly in your responsibility to protect the health of Canadians, especially young children. Please be so kind as not to send me a meaningless form letter as your next correspondence.


Una St Clair-Moniz

P.S. I have taken the liberty of sending a copy of this letter to the Prime Minister, Margaret MacDiarmid Minister of Education and Perry Kendall BC Chief Medical Officer as well.

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I am writing in response to the letter I received from your Executive Correspondence Officer, L.A. Lavell.

While I realize that the democratic process must follow the correct channels, I am writing to you directly because so far concerned parents such as myself are not having our concerns taken seriously by the Minister of Health, the Minister of Education, Health Canada or Industry Canada. I would appreciate if this letter not be passed on unless it is into your, the Prime Minister?s, hand.

Your appointed officials are utterly failing to protect Canadians from dangerous, untested technology. Beaurocratic red tape and stall tactics are inappropriate when the health and possibly lives of the most vulnerable members of our society are at stake. It is shameful.

Will your legacy as Prime Minister be that during your leadership you allowed irreversible damage to the health of the children under your care to occur?

It is imperative that the Canadian Government adopt the Precautionary Principle with regards to non-thermal, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation from cell phone base stations, Wi-Fi and other wireless radiation emitting devices immediately. I humbly request that you issue a precautionary statement to schools to return to hard-wired systems until wireless technology can be proven 100% safe to children.

I have included a copy of the letter I am sending to Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, for your perusal. I would very much appreciate your attention in this matter. Our children are the future of this country. If there is even the slightest risk of harm to their health from this largely untested technology, there can be no reason important enough to delay their assured protection.

I love my children more that anything in the world as I?m sure you love yours. Please do what is needed to protect them all. I wait in hopeful anticipation of your response.


Una St Clair-Moniz

Letter to the Mayor
Mayor and Council,
City of Port Coquitlam
City Hall, 2580 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam B.C.

May 12, 2011

Dear Mayor Moore and Councillors,

You state on your website: 'Listening to and responding to the needs of the community is a commitment City Council takes seriously. The Mayor encourages open dialogue with all citizens. Feedback from community members on City projects, opinions on proposed developments and suggestions to improve City programs are respectfully received, listened to and given full consideration by the Mayor and City Councillors.'

Sounds good.

To sum up my own impressions of May 9th's open council meeting I will begin by thanking you for the opportunity to speak. Hopefully it wasn t simply a 'look good' gesture on your part. Watching your faces throughout the presentations in that crowded room, and hearing your questions and clarifications, it was apparent to me that you are still going through the motions, and treading water on the issue of this cell tower in Greenmount Park. It is revealing when politicians, either in public meetings or via form letters, placate rather than listen, rely on repetitive answers, decline offers of help from new sources, and dismiss or ignore heartfelt concerns. With new evidence and insights, it is disheartening to find that you, as a council, for all your statements about caring and collaboration, may really have only your own political interests at heart.

I believe, as I have followed this cell tower issue ever since Rogers began pursuing it with you, that you are deeply invested in the project with them. Currently, and after more than a year s worth of opportunities to examine and re-evaluate your original position, you appear to have no new understandings. Consistently, as evidenced in letters and interviews, you remain more supportive of technological convenience and gadgetry than you are of human health and welfare. Naively, you rely on outdated safety codes even when you have a chance to update your awareness. Do you have no qualms about ignoring your own bylaw, and little, if any, concern for minority rights or child safety?

On February 14, Una St. Clair presented Council with an extensive package of up-to-date reports and studies pertaining to the issue of radiation, cell towers, Wi-Fi and health. Other supportive sources were offered for your information. Based on your responses on Monday it is clear that, in the three-month time period that followed your Valentine meeting, no one on Council has yet taken the time to actually read the contents of that package, or follow up on references. If you had, your biases would not now be so obvious, and your questions would be more informed.

I am attaching a small portion of those submissions again, for your information. Please read them.

There are only twelve days remaining before your May 24th 'vote' regarding Rogers' Greenmount tower proposal. In that time, you have a vital opportunity to turn on a light in the shadier corridors of your minds, and see that there is a better way of looking at the stewardship of Port Coquitlam's population, its children, its green spaces, and its future. Isn t that ideally, hopefully, what leaders and public servants are supposed to do? Act ethically for the long term? Somewhere along the line, in this case, how have you decided to pursue a less noble, more profitable endeavour in the short term, instead of what is ethically and morally right? Sadly, I fear you haven t yet recognized how truly vital your decision is going to be.

I would like to see something truly miraculous happen. Instead of plotting a predictable, uninformed and short-sighted course, you as councillors could be leaders instead of followers and problem makers, and in a forward thinking initiative adopt a more humanitarian and proactive approach to technology. Help Rogers find a more suitable site for its tower. You could create a more caring community, and promote Port Coquitlam as such. Your city could be a place where some natural spaces still exist unsullied, and where citizens with legitimate concerns about health and safety are taken seriously. Where parks are for trees and wildlife, not cell towers; where Coquitlam River Elementary school's playground isn't a 'kill zone' with a microwave mast looming close by; where your School Board can make a formal and reasonable application that won t be overridden by the clout and money of a large corporation.

In the short term, for Council, will it be about votes and profit, or, in the long-term, will it be about children s futures, and the environment, and all those other human and natural responsibilities.

In the case of Rogers' Greenmount proposal, there is only one ethical choice, and that is to reject it. It is much more prudent to avoid mistakes than it is to go back and undo them.

Shortly, and ultimately, we shall see how true to your word you really are, and how serious about your self-proclaimed commitment to 'full consideration.'

Naively, in spite of my pessimism, I still think there could be an ethical streak left in some of you.

Linda Ewart
Retired teacher, SD #35,
14987 Beachview Avenue,
White Rock, B.C.

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