Parry Sound-Muskoka  MP Tony Clement says new Industry Canada rules announced today ensures the public will have its say on proposed cell towers in their communities, regardless of their proposed size. “I know the issue of proposed cell towers has caused conflict in several areas across Parry Sound-Muskoka, and the public deserves to have a say in how any new cell tower locations are identified,“ said Clement. “Improvements to Industry Canada’s Antenna Tower Siting Policy will ensure that local residents and municipal governments are at the forefront of the tower placement process.“ Over the last 20 years, wireless services have grown into something that Canadian consumers rely on every day. As a result, we are seeing an increasing number of new cell towers being constructed in our communities. The placement of these towers is becoming ever more divisive with the rapidly increasing demand for wireless services. The changes to the policy guiding the installation of new antenna towers will require companies to:

•           consult communities on all commercial tower installations, regardless of height;

•           build the tower within three years of consulting with communities; and

•           ensure that residents are well-informed of upcoming consultations.

The improvements will also strengthen federal communications with the public on tower siting procedures, including new online resources on the process, and new reporting mechanisms to track tower issues and report back to communities. These measures build on the Harper Government’s current tower sharing policies that require companies to first look at sharing existing tower infrastructure, whenever they can, to reduce the number of new towers needed in each community.