Beaconsfield residents fight cell tower installation on their street

BEACONSFIELD – Taywood Drive is a small, quiet street in Beaconsfield.

It’s right next to a park and according to Debbie Sarik, it was the perfect place to raise a family.

But that all changed Friday when installers from Telus showed up to put up a small cell phone tower on the lamp post in front of her house.

“To have this threat come in is just very upsetting,” she told Global News.

“I said ‘What? I haven’t heard anything about that. I’m not informed at all.'”

Residents chased the installers away.

They say they’re mad – not just because it’s an eyesore – but also because of the potential health issues.

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“Be it tremors, be it headaches, be it possibly cancer,” said Scott Hebert.

“We just don’t know.”

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That’s a huge concern, especially considering the number of kids in the neighbourhood.

“I have three young kids. They want to put it somewhere very close to their bedrooms,” said Sarik.

“There’s tons of kids playing right in front of the house in the park so it’s very alarming and upsetting for me.”

Companies are supposed to notify municipalities if they’re installing new towers – that’s a rule that came into effect in February 2014.

It’s up to the city – and not the company – to inform residents of what’s happening.

“I just don’t feel confident that they’re really looking out for our best interest,” said Hebert.

“If they knew that it was being installed they didn’t tell us and that’s a really big problem.”

Residents say they’re going to fight to keep cell phone companies away from their neighbourhood.

“There has to be better places than in front of a park and in front of a house,” said Hebert.

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“We don’t need additional network strength here in our neighbourhood.”

Over the last few years, hundreds of cell phone towers have been going up across Montreal, but residents tell Global News the City of Beaconsfield doesn’t seem know what’s going on.

James Papelian has been fighting the city for five years after a Videotron tower was put up outside his home.

“I really hope that this city is realizing we’ve got a concern and we want this matter looked at,” he said.

“They didn’t ask these people and they didn’t ask me.”

Neither Beaconsfield town hall nor Telus responded to Global News’ request for comment.

Residents don’t know if – or when – the installers will be back, but they’re going to keep a watchful eye out just in case.

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