The City of Châteauguay condemns the practices of Public Mobile and Rogers Communications Inc., calls on Quebec's Minister of Municipal Affairs to act and launches a series of responses

Municipal land management and installation of telecommunications antennas

CHÂTEAUGUAY, QC, Nov. 22, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Outraged at the recent actions by telecommunications companies Rogers Communications Inc. and Public Mobile, which installed four 12-metre telecommunication towers in the city and plans to erect a fifth, 30-metre tower, the City of Châteauguay has decided to respond with specific steps designed to put a stop to the cavalier and indifferent attitude systematically taken by telecommunications companies towards the public good in its jurisdiction.

Referring to the lack of respect shown for municipal land management when telecommunications companies make incursions within their boundaries, the Mayor of Châteauguay, Nathalie Simon, has decided to take a stand. "It has to stop. It makes no sense that a company can get away with setting up wherever it wants, whenever it wants, in our city, without anyone having a say in the matter. We can no longer tolerate this increasingly systematic corporate snubbing of our citizens and communities. That is why we plan to adopt a series of resolutions regarding this issue at tonight's city council meeting," said the Mayor.

As Quebec's municipalities have all noticed with the recent shale gas issue and the outcry over poorly designed wind turbine projects, Mayor Simon stated, municipal decision makers are all too often presented with a fait accompli in such situations.

"Municipal land development and provision of services to residents must be done in partnership. Gone are the days when people could do whatever they wanted without considering residents and communities. That Wild West way of doing things is better left to the movies," said Mayor Simon. "Just because a company is working in telecommunications doesn't give it the right to do whatever it wants. That has to change."

In that regard, Mayor Simon is calling on Quebec's Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, Laurent Lessard, to seek more effective measures from his federal counterpart to ensure that Quebec's municipalities have a place at the table from the outset of the decision-making process for installing telecommunications towers within municipal limits.

"We believe that Minister Lessard must come out with a clear statement on this issue and support our position and actions. That is least we expect from him. I will be speaking with Mr. Lessard shortly about next steps," she added.

In addition, the City of Châteauguay informs its partners in the Union of Quebec Municipalities and the Federation of Quebec Municipalities of the steps it is taking and is certain that their support and that of the Minister will make a difference. According to Mayor Simon, this is just the first in a series of actions that will be taken in the next few months and the upcoming year.

Starting tonight, at the city council meeting, the Municipality of Châteauguay will introduce a series of targeted measures:

- It will adopt a censure motion against Public Mobile;
- Council will table a notice of motion to regulate the installation of radio communication and broadcasting, television and Wi-Fi antennas;
- The City will conduct an assessment, for taxation purposes, of the property values of land on which antennas may have been installed.
For further information:

Source: Sylvain Daignault, Head, Communications Division, City of Châteauguay, 450 698-3105

Information: Dany St-Jean, Excydium Communications, 514 212-5457