'Children aren't guinea pigs'

Alanna Kelly

Ellison residents are concerned about safety after a proposed cell tower could be going up just a few feet from people’s backyards. 

Not all residents were directly notified by Rogers, and as news started travelling around the neighbourhood about the new tower, so did frustration. 

“They’re putting in a 60-foot cellphone tower, apparently it could be any time,” said Kristin Matthews. “I am hoping they just cancel the whole situation.”

Resident William Kowalski says only about 15 residents were notified about the proposal. 

“They said only two neighbours had any complaints, but that is not true because they only let 15 people know,” he said. “The only people that were informed were people who lived directly within 100 metres of the site.”

If approved, the tower would be right behind Kowalski’s backyard. 

“It would be 60 metres away from us and 60 metres high,” he said. “The whole neighbourhood affected… we are one block from an elementary school.”

Matthews, who is pregnant, says the location is a concern to her because of the children who live in the area and attend Ellison Elementary School.

“I don’t think children are guinea pigs, I don’t think that anywhere less than two blocks from a school is an ideal position for a technology we are unsure what the effects are,” she said. 

Director for Electoral East, Ellison Mark Bartyik says he’s heard residents' concerns and is in communications with Rogers. 

“It is not a Regional District issue, this is a federally regulated issue,” he said. “Ellison residents are a little upset with how this happened and the lack of communication.” 

Bartyik added he will be following up with Rogers.

“They say it is all within Canadian standards but who knows what that means ... we all thought smoking was healthy 50 years ago and look at it now,” said Kowalski. 

A petition has been started by residents and it's been signed by over 300 people. 

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