DGSO-002-14 — Decision on Amendments to Industry Canada's Antenna Tower Siting Procedures


1. Introduction

1.1 Intent

1. Through the release of this document, Industry Canada announces the decisions resulting from the consultation process undertaken in DGSO-001-14Consultation on Amendments to Industry Canada’s Antenna Tower Siting Procedures (the "Consultation") — and sets out changes to Industry Canada’s Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, Issue 4 (CPC-2-0-03).

1.2 Mandate

2. The Minister of Industry, through the Department of Industry Act, the Radiocommunication Act and the Radiocommunication Regulations, with due regard to the objectives of the Telecommunications Act, is responsible for spectrum management in Canada. Under this mandate, the Minister is responsible for developing national policies for radiocommunication antenna systems, including their supporting structures.

1.3 Legislation

3. Under the Radiocommunication Act, the Minister may, taking into account all matters that the Minister considers relevant for ensuring the orderly development and efficient operation of radiocommunication in Canada, approve each site where antenna systems, including antenna towers, may be located.

4. Adherence to CPC-2-0-03 (the "Procedures") is also a condition of all relevant authorizations and standards under the Radiocommunication Act. The installation or operation of an antenna system that is not in accordance with the Procedures may result in its alteration or removal and other sanctions against the operator in accordance with the Radiocommunication Act.

1.4 Background

5. On February 27, 2014, Industry Canada published the Consultation, which sought comments on changes to the Procedures. The Procedures apply to anyone who is planning to install or modify an antenna system, regardless of the type. This includes telecommunications carriers, businesses, governments, Crown agencies, operators of broadcasting undertakings and the public (including, for example, amateur radio operation and over-the-air TV reception). The Procedures also apply to those who install antenna towers or antenna systems on behalf of others or for leasing purposes.

6. Through the Consultation, Canadians shared their thoughts, comments and concerns regarding the proposed changes to the Procedures. Respondents included: many citizens with an interest in the siting of antenna systems; municipalities and their national organization, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM); and the wireless industry and its national organization, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). There were 148 respondents to the Consultation. All comments received in response to the consultation are available on Industry Canada’s website at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10804.html.

7. In making decisions on the amendments to the Procedures, Industry Canada has considered all relevant comments received in response to the Consultation, as well as the above-mentioned mandate and legislation.


2. Changes to Industry Canada's Antenna Tower Siting Procedures

8. Improvements to the Procedures were proposed to ensure that citizens and the municipalities that represent them are engaged early in the process. This was done by proposing changes to strengthen the requirements for the wireless industry to consult with local residents, increase transparency for municipalities, and improve communications throughout the tower siting process.

9. These improvements include proposed changes related to the:

  • application of the Procedures;
  • default public consultation process;
  • time limit for construction;
  • criteria for installations that may be excluded from consultation; and
  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

2.1 The Application of the Procedures

10. In the Consultation, Industry Canada proposed that the term "telecommunications carriers" or "carriers" replace the terms "Personal Communications Services (PCS)" and "cellular" in order to reflect the range of operators and services that have evolved over the past 30 years. It also proposed to explicitly note that the Procedures apply to anyone who is planning to install or modify an antenna system, including those who install antenna systems on behalf of others or for leasing purposes ("third party tower owners").

Summary of Comments

11. Overall, respondents to the Consultation supported the proposed changes.

Discussion

12. In response to the increased demand by Canadians to have better coverage, faster data rates and more advanced mobile applications, the types of operators providing services have evolved significantly and now provide a broader range of services. In addition, business models have evolved and there are companies that build on behalf of, or in order to lease antenna space to, an operator. Industry Canada notes that the Procedures already apply to these various parties (referred to in the Procedures as "proponents"), and considers that the proposed changes add clarity to the Procedures.

Decision

13. Industry Canada will update Section 1.2 of CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, to read as follows:

The requirements of this document apply to anyone (referred to in this document as the proponent) who is planning to install or modify an antenna system*, regardless of the type. This includes telecommunications carriers**, businesses, governments, Crown agencies, operators of broadcasting undertakings and the public (including for amateur radio operation and over the air TV reception). Anyone who proposes, uses or owns an antenna system must follow these procedures. The requirements also apply to those who install towers or antenna systems on behalf of others or for leasing purposes ("third party tower owners"). As well, parts of this process contain obligations that apply to existing antenna system owners and operators.

* For the purposes of this document, an "antenna system" is normally composed of an antenna and some sort of supporting structure, normally a tower. Most antennas have their own integral mast so that they can be fastened directly to a building or a tower. Thus, where this document refers to an "antenna", the term includes the integral mast.

** For the purpose of this document, a "telecommunications carrier" means a person who owns or operates a transmission facility used by that person or another person to provide telecommunications services to the public for compensation.

2.2 Industry Canada's Default Public Consultation Process

14. In the Consultation, Industry Canada proposed to require that public notifications be clearly marked so as not to be interpreted as "junk mail" and that these notifications be sent by regular mail or be hand delivered. Additionally, Industry Canada proposed to clarify how to measure the height of an antenna system. The changes were proposed in regard to the Industry Canada Default Public Consultation Process. Where municipalities have a protocol that addresses public notification, the Procedures require that proponents follow that particular local process.

Summary of Comments

15. Respondents were generally supportive of the improved delivery and marking of the public notification package. Other comments included concerns and suggestions related to: developing a standard template for envelope markings (City of Vaughan); implementing signage requirements at the site of a proposed tower notifying the public of the proposal (Town of Oakville and others); addressing anticipated changes to, and adequacy of, Canada Post home delivery (citizens and Canadian Radiocommunications Information and Notification Service (CRINS)); using electronic notification via the Internet (CRINS); increasing the notification distance beyond three times the tower height (various municipalities and members of the public); setting a minimum notification distanceFootnote 1 (FCM, municipalities and members of the public); and measuring the notification distance from the property line (City of Toronto).

16. Bragg Communications Inc. (operating as Eastlink) submitted that several municipalities in its service area do not allow it to mail public information itself, and requested an amendment to address this situation.

17. Comments were generally supportive of clarifying how the height of an antenna system is measured. Several respondents noted that Industry Canada’s proposed clarification was inconsistent in the consultation paper. TELUS Communications Company (TELUS) was opposed to changing the wording from "antenna-supporting structures" to "antenna systems" in relation to the 30-metre height requirement and local newspaper notifications, stating this change would lead to interpretation issues.

Discussion

18. Industry Canada considers that local residents and municipal governments should be at the centre of the antenna tower siting process. To do this, citizens must be informed of an upcoming consultation so that they can actively participate. Industry Canada is of the view that clear marking of notifications to citizens is necessary to prevent the notifications from being viewed as junk mail.

19. To address Eastlink’s comments on municipalities not allowing mail-outs by proponents, the Procedures provide that municipalities may develop their own, reasonable requirements regarding notice. These requirements may include details on how the notice is delivered. Where a proponent believes a requirement is unreasonable, it may contact the local Industry Canada office for guidance.

20. Industry Canada also considers that clearly defining how to measure the height of an antenna system, as proposed in the Consultation, will better inform citizens, municipalities and proponents. Industry Canada agrees with the respondents that the definition should be consistent throughout the Procedures. In the Procedures, the term "antenna system" encompasses both the supporting structure and the antenna. As antennas may add significant height to a supporting structure in relation to the structure itself, Industry Canada considers that the use of the term "antenna system" is more inclusive when determining overall height and, therefore, appropriate when setting public notification requirements.

21. In February 2013, the FCM and CWTA announced the release of an Antenna System Siting Protocol Template. The two national organizations worked together in partnership in order to establish a template to provide municipalities with a tool to develop customized protocols for the siting of antenna systems within their municipalities. Under the FCM/CWTA Protocol Template, municipalities may determine a prescribed distance that relates to, among other things, public notification. The template also notes Industry Canada’s default of the three-times-the-height factor and that municipal protocols have adopted a range of notification distances. In its comments, the FCM recommended that the Procedures be revised to include a minimum public notification distance. Industry Canada notes that it will continue to support individual municipalities in establishing public consultation requirements for antenna systems appropriate for their communities, including reasonable minimum public notification distances. Where a proponent believes a requirement is unreasonable, it may contact the local Industry Canada office for guidance.

22. With respect to the other suggestions received that were not proposed in the Consultation, Industry Canada considers that comments such as electronic notification, changes to Canada Post’s home delivery program and on-site signage are matters that proponents and land-use authorities can consider where necessary.

Decision

23. Industry Canada will update Section 4.2 of CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, to read as follows:

Public Notification

  1. Proponents must ensure that the local public, the land-use authority and Industry Canada are notified of the proposed antenna system. As a minimum, proponents must provide a notification package (see Appendix 1) to the local public (including nearby residences, community gathering areas, public institutions, schools, etc.), neighbouring land-use authorities, businesses, and property owners, etc. located within a radius of three times the tower height*. The radius is measured from the outside perimeter of the supporting structure. For the purpose of this requirement, the outside perimeter begins at the furthest point of the supporting mechanism, be it the outermost guy line, building edge, face of the self-supporting tower, etc. Public notification of an upcoming consultation must be clearly marked, making reference to the proposed antenna system, so that it is not misinterpreted as junk mail. The notice must be sent by mail or be hand delivered. The face of the package must clearly reference that the recipient is within the prescribed notification radius of the proposed antenna system.
  2. It is the proponent’s responsibility to ensure that the notification provides at least 30 days for written public comment.
  3. In addition to the minimum notification distance noted above, in areas of seasonal residence, the proponent, in consultation with the land-use authority, is responsible for determining the best manner to notify such residents to ensure their engagement.
  4. In addition to the public notification requirements noted above, proponents of an antenna system proposed to be 30 metres or more in height must place a notice in a local community newspaper circulating in the proposed area.** Height is measured from the lowest ground level at the base, including foundation, to the tallest point of the antenna system. Depending on the particular installation, the tallest point may be an antenna, lightning rod, aviation obstruction lighting or some other appurtenance. Any attempt to artificially reduce the height (addition of soil, aggregate, etc.) will not be included in the calculation or measurement of the height of the antenna system.

* Proponents are advised that municipalities may set reasonable public notification distances appropriate for their communities when establishing their own protocols.

** The notice must be synchronized with the distribution of the public notification package. It must be legible and placed in the public notice section of the newspaper. The notice must include: a description of the proposed installation; its location and street address; proponent contact information and mailing address; and an invitation to provide public comments to the proponent within 30 days of the notice. In areas without a local newspaper, other effective means of public notification must be implemented. Proponents may contact the local Industry Canada office for guidance.

2.3 Time Limit for Construction

24. In the Consultation, Industry Canada proposed that construction of an antenna system must be completed within three years of the conclusion of the consultation process.

Summary of Comments

25. Generally, land-use respondents, including the FCM, supported a three-year time limit while the City of Vaughan questioned how it would be enforced.

26. The City of Markham, CRINS, and Bell Mobility (Bell) submitted that municipalities should have the flexibility to adjust the requirement, including suggestions to decrease or increase the time limit. Other respondents included recommendations to begin the three-year time limit at the start of construction (Rogers Communications Partnership (Rogers)), after concurrence or conclusion of an impasse (TELUS), or after all permits have been received (Eastlink), as opposed to beginning the time limit at the conclusion of the consultation process. MTS Allstream proposed that construction would only need to begin within three years, and that extensions should be permitted.

27. The City of Markham submitted that a time limit should be added to the Procedures for stakeholders to file a request with Industry Canada to resolve an impasse.

Discussion

28. Industry Canada notes that there have been situations in the past in which the local public has not been aware of the proposed installation of a new antenna system, e.g., where a new subdivision has been constructed after the conclusion of the consultation process. Industry Canada considers that tying the construction limit to the conclusion of the consultation process as opposed to the start of construction creates a more defined timeframe for the completion of the entire project and minimizes the risk that citizens will not be aware of an upcoming installation. Using this timeframe also minimizes the efforts spent by citizens, municipalities and other stakeholders on speculative proposals. Therefore, Industry Canada does not consider it appropriate to begin the three-year time limit at the start of construction.

29. Industry Canada notes that there are many complexities in installing a tower and, therefore, does not support a reduction of the three-year time limit. However, it acknowledges there are circumstances where all stakeholders may wish to extend the time limit. For example, in underserved areas, all stakeholders may still wish to bring service to an area, even after three years. In these cases, Industry Canada would accept an extension for a specified time period agreed to by the relevant land-use authority and confirmed in writing.

30. With respect to the City of Markham’s suggested time limit for the filing of a written request to resolve an impasse, Industry Canada notes that it already has a formal Dispute Resolution Process intended to bring about timely resolution where the parties have reached an impasse. Within this process, parties may provide any relevant information, including evidence demonstrating the impact of any time delays. Alternately, impasses are often resolved informally through dialogue without the requirement for Industry Canada involvement. Before it is resolved, the proponent cannot proceed with its proposal. Accordingly, Industry Canada is of the view that specifying a limit for the filing of a written request to resolve an impasse is not necessary.

31. Industry Canada also notes that proponents who construct their antenna system after the three year limit would not be acting in accordance with the requirements of the Procedures and would be in contravention of their condition of authorization, which could cause them to lose their authorization, and/or incur other sanctions and prosecutions under the Radiocommunication Act.

Decision

32. Industry Canada will update CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems (Section 4.4), to read as follows:

Whether the proponent followed a land-use authority’s consultation process or Industry Canada’s default public consultation process, construction of an antenna system must be completed within three years of the conclusion of consultation. After three years, consultations will no longer be deemed valid except in the case where a proponent secures the agreement of the relevant land-use authority to an extension for a specified time period in writing. A copy of the agreement must be provided to the local Industry Canada office.

2.4 Exclusions

33. In the Consultation, Industry Canada proposed a number of changes to the exclusions section of the Procedures, including a new requirement for consultation on commercial tower installations less than 15 metres in height.

Summary of Comments

34. In general, the FCM, the municipalities and the public supported the removal of the 15 metre exclusion for commercial installations. The FCM and the City of Markham submitted that the Procedures be revised to require consultation for modifications to antenna systems originally less than 15 metres in height, that were initially installed without consultation, but result in an antenna system exceeding 15 metres. The City of Markham, however, submitted that only municipal consultation should be required, rather than public consultation, noting the administrative and consultative burden on municipalities.

35. Some municipalities and members of the public also suggested increasing the requirements to notify or consult. The FCM submitted that municipalities should be notified, at their option, of building and structure-mounted antennas, even if excluded from consultation. The Town of Oakville submitted that municipal consultation should be required on all installations less than 15 metres in height. Members of the public, including Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST) and the City of Vaughan recommended requiring consultation for all installations, including non tower structures. The City of Markham suggested that municipal consultation should be required on new antenna systems less than 15 metres in height, allowing the municipality to decide if public consultation is required based on local circumstances. TELUS submitted that the removal of the 15 metre exclusion would not apply to third party tower owners.

36. Except for MTS Allstream, the telecommunications carriers disagreed with the proposal. In general, they submitted that the requirement does not treat all proponents in a similar manner, impairs the ability to bring new technologies at the pace the public demands, and is not in the interest of the public and municipalities, for a variety of reasons, including inadvertently discouraging the development of small antenna systems and increasing the administrative burden and costs.

37. TELUS proposed that notification for installations less than 15 metres in height should only apply to those located in residential areas. Eastlink recommended adopting the FCM/CWTA template protocol provisions with respect to these installationsFootnote 2.

38. Rogers submitted that it should be clarified that a municipality has the option of excluding certain types of antenna systems from all or part of its consultation process.

39. Both Hydro One Networks Inc. (Hydro One) and the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) submitted that, due to the nature of their service and types of installations, their antenna systems warrant exclusion from consultation. Similarly, the Broadcasters’ Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) submitted that an exemption should be allowed for towers less than 15 metres in height used by broadcasting undertakings for auxiliary facilities, i.e., towers used by broadcasters for transmissions of signals other than the direct broadcast of signals to listeners or viewers.

40. Respondents also commented on specific details of the exclusions, noting that:

  1. While new amateur radio installations less than 15 metres in height are excluded from consultation under this section, they are still expected to abide by the general requirements to ensure that the installation is appropriate for the lot size and location (FCM);
  2. The exclusion for replacement of an existing tower should only apply if the replacement is more or less equivalent to, or even the same as, the original design and location (FCM and City of Markham);
  3. An increase in a height of any amount should require consultation if the tower was previously excluded from consultation due to a height of less than 15 metres (FCM and City of Markham);
  4. The 25% increase could be achieved through one increase of 25% or through separate phases totalling, but not exceeding, 25% (FCM);
  5. Any significant additions or modifications should constitute an unreasonable application of the exclusion, and should require public notification and consultation (FCM and various municipalities);
  6. Temporary antenna systems installed at a height of less than 15 metres to provide capacity relief on an interim basis should be excluded from consultation (Bell); and
  7. Different thresholds for consultation should be added, such as an increase in radio frequency output of more than 25%, a power increase of more than 5%, or a height increase of more than 10% (C4ST).

Discussion

41. Industry Canada is well aware of the concerns of Canadians about the proliferation of towers and considers that Canadians deserve to have a say as to where towers are built in their communities. Consultation is an important element to ensure that local residents and municipalities are at the centre of this process. Therefore, the Procedures include requirements to consider the sharing of infrastructure and consultation with the municipality/land-use authority.

42. Careful consideration is given when developing exclusions and Industry Canada assesses criteria such as the likelihood and extent of local community concerns, its local experience with antenna siting issues, and the needs of, and administrative burden on, the various stakeholders, including the municipalities. Further, consideration is given to the diversity of stakeholders, including communications companies, Emergency Services (police, fire, and ambulance), government organizations, businesses and individuals.

43. The submissions indicate that there is heightened public concern related to new commercial installations (proposals by telecommunications carriers, broadcasting undertakings or third party tower owners) and that these installations typically have a greater impact. Although CWTA members have agreed to consult on "excluded" antenna system proposals where required by the municipalities, Industry Canada notes that not all commercial operators are members of the CWTA and not all municipalities have incorporated elements of the FCM/CWTA protocol template into their own local municipal protocol. Accordingly, Industry Canada considers that it is in the community’s interest that telecommunications carriers, broadcasting undertakings or third party tower owners consult with the public on all new tower proposals, regardless of height, without exception. Therefore, in all cases, commercial operators must notify and consult with the local public when proposing a new antenna tower either by following Industry Canada’s Default Public Consultation process or, where one exists, the municipality’s public consultation process. Industry Canada notes that municipalities can still, through their own protocols, determine what a reasonable public consultation would be in light of their local circumstances. Further, municipalities may still exclude other types of installations from public consultation.

44. In contrast, requiring consultation for temporary antenna systems used for special events and emergencies, as well as for all replacement or non-commercial antenna systems, and for those that result in a minimal height increase, would create unnecessary administrative and consultative burdens for the public and municipalities.

45. In addition, Industry Canada notes that it has maintained the requirement that all proponents must consider local circumstance when applying the exclusion criteria. For example, when considering exclusion from consultation for a new antenna system, an amateur radio operator must consider things such as proximity to neighbours, tree cover and antenna and lot size. Industry Canada considers that proponents can benefit from local knowledge by discussing their proposals that are excluded from consultation, whether tower, or non tower based, with the local municipality. Industry Canada notes that municipalities also have the ability to include reasonable requirements in their own protocols to meet their local needs and that these may include the requirement to notify the municipality of antenna installations that are excluded from consultation.

46. Industry Canada considers that Hydro One, CN, and the TCC’s request for a blanket or partial exclusion based on their unique circumstances is not consistent with the intent of the Consultation. However, Industry Canada suggests to these parties that municipalities/land- use authorities are also encouraged to develop their own protocols and can include different requirements, as appropriate for their communities, e.g., streamlining notification procedures.

47. Industry Canada has considered other detailed comments and added clarifications to the Procedures as appropriate. Industry Canada considers that an exemption for temporary installations in order to meet network capacity demands is not consistent with the intent of the Consultation. Industry Canada also considers that its thresholds based on proposed height continue to be appropriate, as supported by various stakeholders, and does not consider it necessary to adopt alternative thresholds as proposed by C4ST and certain individuals.

Decision

48. Industry Canada will update Section 6 of CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, to read as follows:

All proponents must satisfy the General Requirements outlined in Section 7 regardless of whether an exclusion applies to their proposal. All proponents must also consult the land-use authority and the public unless a proposal is specifically excluded. Individual circumstances vary with each antenna system installation and modification, and the exclusion criteria below should be applied in consideration of local circumstances. Consequently, it may be prudent for the proponent to consult even though the proposal meets an exclusion noted below. Therefore, when applying the criteria for exclusion, proponents should consider such things as:

  • the antenna system's physical dimensions, including the antenna, mast, and tower, compared to the local surroundings;
  • the location of the proposed antenna system on the property and its proximity to neighbouring residents;
  • the likelihood of an area being a community-sensitive location; and
  • Transport Canada’s marking and lighting requirements for the proposed structure.

The following proposals are excluded from land-use authority and public consultation requirements:

  • New Antenna Systems: where the height is less than 15 metres above ground level. This exclusion does not apply to antenna systems proposed by telecommunications carriers, broadcasting undertakings or third party tower owners;
  • Existing Antenna Systems: where modifications are made, antennas added or the tower replaced*, including to facilitate sharing, provided that the total cumulative height increase is no greater than 25% of the height of the initial antenna system installation.** No increase in height may occur within one year of completion of the initial construction. This exclusion does not apply to antenna systems using purpose built antenna supporting structures with a height of less than 15 metres above ground level operated by telecommunications carriers, broadcasting undertakings or third party tower owners;
  • Non-Tower Structures: antennas on buildings, water towers, lamp posts, etc. may be excluded from consultation provided that the height above ground of the non-tower structure, exclusive of appurtenances, is not increased by more than 25%*** and
  • Temporary Antenna Systems: used for special events or emergency operations and must be removed within three months of the start of the emergency or special event.

No consultation is required prior to performing maintenance on an existing antenna system.

Proponents who are not certain if their proposals are excluded, or if consultation would still be prudent, are advised to contact the land-use authority and/or Industry Canada for guidance.

Height is measured from the lowest ground level at the base, including the foundation, to the tallest point of the antenna system. Depending on the particular installation, the tallest point may be an antenna, lightning rod, aviation obstruction lighting or some other appurtenance. Any attempt to artificially reduce the height (addition of soil, aggregate, etc.) will not be included in the calculation or measurement of the height of the antenna system.

* The exclusion for the replacement of existing antenna systems applies to replacements that are similar to the original design and location.

** Initial antenna system installation refers to the system as it was first consulted on, or installed.

*** Telecommunication carriers, operators of broadcasting undertakings and third party tower owners may benefit from local knowledge by contacting the land-use authority when planning an antenna system that meets this exclusion criterion.

2.5 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

49. In the Consultation, Industry Canada proposed to amend the Procedures to reflect the new version of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, which came into law in 2012 (CEAA 2012).

Summary of Comments

50. The majority of respondents either supported the update or had no comments regarding the proposed update. One respondent was of the view that the requirement should only be to notify Industry Canada as opposed to requiring a full application and review or, alternatively, that Industry Canada’s review be capped at 30 days.

Discussion

51. Industry Canada requires that the installation and modification of antenna systems be done in a manner that complies with appropriate environmental legislation. CEAA 2012 requires that before a federal authority makes any decision that would allow a project to proceed, it must determine whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. This requirement may include working with other federal authorities to determine the environmental effects of a proposed antenna system and could be a time-consuming process.

52. Accordingly, Industry Canada considers that it would not be able to meet its requirements if it were restricted to notification only and/or a 30-day time limit.

Decision

53. Industry Canada will update Section 7.4 of CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, to read as follows:

Industry Canada requires that the installation and modification of antenna systems be done in a manner that complies with appropriate environmental legislation. This includes the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), where the antenna system is incidental to a physical activity or project designated under CEAA 2012, or is located on federal lands.

An antenna system may not proceed where it is incidental to a designated project (as described in the Regulations Designating Physical Activities), or is otherwise expressly designated by the Minister of the Environment without satisfying certain requirements applicable to designated projects. Therefore, a proponent of this type of project must contact Industry Canada for direction on how to proceed.

Any proposed antenna system on federal land may not proceed without a determination of environmental effects by Industry Canada. In order to assist the Department in making such a determination, proponents must submit a project description to Industry Canada, considering and addressing those elements of the environment described in CEAA 2012, as well as any determination of environmental effects that may have been made by the authority responsible for managing the federal land. Industry Canada may also require further information before it can complete its assessment. Industry Canada will inform the proponent of the results of its determination and may impose conditions related to mitigating any adverse effects after making its determination and/or may need to refer the matter to the Governor in Council under CEAA 2012.

In addition, notices under Industry Canada’s default public consultation process require written confirmation of the project’s status under CEAA 2012 (e.g., whether it is incidental to a designated project or, if not, whether it is on federal lands).

In addition to CEAA requirements, proponents are responsible to ensure that antenna systems are installed and operated in a manner that respects the local environment and that complies with other statutory requirements, such as those under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and the Species at Risk Act, as applicable.

For projects north of the 60th parallel, environmental assessment requirements may arise from federal statutes other than the aforementioned Acts or from Comprehensive Land Claim Agreements. Industry Canada requires that installation or modification of antennas or antenna supporting structures be done in accordance with these requirements, as appropriate.


3. Other Comments/Amendments

54. Industry Canada also received additional suggestions regarding various aspects of the siting procedures. The vast majority of these comments were from C4ST and citizens, many using the template supplied on C4ST’s website.

Summary of Comments

55. Respondents indicated a concern with regard to public health, commenting that the Procedures do not adequately protect Canadians from electromagnetic radiation because they allow towers to be located in residential areas. Some respondents, public and municipal, asked for stricter guidelines for the placement of towers located near residential neighbourhoods, schools and daycares.

56. The FCM recommended that pre-consultation with the municipality should be excluded from the 120-day consultation period.

57. A number of other comments were submitted by various parties such as, but not limited to, the requirements for structural drawings, Safety Code 6 validation reports, tower sharing and peer reviews of technical information.

Discussion

58. Health Canada has broad responsibility for the protection of the health of Canadians. Its guidelines, commonly known as Safety Code 6, are written and maintained for the purpose of protecting Canadians from unsafe levels of radio frequency exposure. Industry Canada requires all wireless installations to comply with Safety Code 6 at all times to protect the general public. Industry Canada notes that Health Canada is proposing revisions to Safety Code 6; if the code’s guidelines are modified, it is Industry Canada’s intention to apply the revised guidelines under Section 7.1 of the Procedures in the same manner that the current requirements are applied today. Comments regarding the suitability of Safety Code 6 are outside the scope of this Consultation.

59. Industry Canada agrees that the initial contact with the municipality/land-use authority is important in furthering discussion on appropriate sites and/or design. It notes that the intent under the Procedures is, and continues to be, that the 120-day consultation period begins after the initial contact (usually starting with the formal contact in writing).

60. Comments submitted relating to the requirements for structural drawings, Safety Code 6 validation reports, tower sharing and peer reviews of technical information are outside the scope of this Consultation. Although imposing such requirements in the Procedures is outside the scope of this Consultation, Industry Canada notes that land-use authorities may develop protocols that include requesting a wide scope of relevant information.

61. Industry Canada will also make several minor amendments to the Procedures including harmonizing defined terms and fixing typographical and grammatical errors.

Decision

62. Industry Canada will update Section 4 of CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, to read as follows:

Proponents must always contact the applicable land-use authorities to determine the local consultation requirements and to discuss local preferences regarding antenna system siting and/or design, unless their proposal falls within the exclusion criteria outlined in Section 6. If the land use authority has designated an official to deal with antenna systems, then proponents are to engage the authority through that person. If not, proponents must submit their plans directly to the council, elected local official or executive. The 120-day consultation period commences only once proponents have formally submitted in writing all plans required by the land-use authority, and does not include preliminary discussions with land-use authority representatives.


4. Implementation and Next Steps

63. These changes are reflected in CPC-2-0-03 Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna System, Issue 5, and become effective July 15, 2014 for all new proposals and in relation to all ongoing obligations. Proposals where construction or consultation has already commenced may continue under the provisions of CPC-2-0-03, Issue 4, for the purpose of satisfying any requirements in relation to consultations.


5. Obtaining Copies

64. Copies of this notice, the documents referred to herein and revised Frequency Asked Questions are available electronically on Industry Canada's Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website at www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum.

65. Official versions of Canada Gazette notices can be viewed at www.gazette.gc.ca.

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