City ‘doesn’t have the jurisdiction’ over technology, says Mayor Marc Demers
With recent fires in cell phone towers – including one in Laval – being linked to growing opposition to the new 5G cell phone technology, a woman noted in her e-mailed question to Mayor Marc Demers during the June 2 webcast of Laval city council that an increasing number of experts are raising concerns about what they allege are the health hazards of 5G.
Noting that cities in Australia, Belgium, Italy and in other countries have issued statements calling for the deployment of 5G to be stopped, Nathalie Raymond asked whether Laval would agree to declaring a moratorium on the installation of 5G technology.
Seeking 5G moratorium
“Would the City of Laval be ready to set an example in Quebec and to follow along for the security and well-being of its citizens?” she said. “The communications industry is now pushing forward to deploy its 5G system, despite the impact of radio-frequency on the health of the population as recognized by several hundred scientific studies.
“The impact on future generations could be devastating, since all independent research says so,” she added. “Would the City of Laval be ready to declare a moratorium on the deployment of this network? And until unbiased scientific studies would demonstrate that our health and that of our children will not be affected by this technology.”
Will consult experts
Replying, Mayor Demers said that before taking a position on such issues, he and others in the administration ask consultants and other experts to write a summary report on the questions raised and to send it to them. “And if we judge that we should go further, we have effectively in the past hired independent expert firms to shed light on certain opinions.”
The mayor said that employees with the city have already started to look into the issue. However, he noted that Health Canada has come to conclusions about 5G that are different from those expressed by the technology’s critics. “They have essentially said that there are no indications leading to believe that the 5G network may be harmful to health,” said Demers.
No position on 5G, says Demers
While noting that the issue would be debated in council, the mayor said that the City of Laval “doesn’t have the jurisdiction. The implementation of 5G is the responsibility of the federal government and declaring a moratorium would be like trying to stop Canadian Pacific from passing on our territory. We are pursuing our reflection and our studies regarding this situation.
“For the time being, there are cell phone towers on our territory, but they aren’t necessarily 5G. These towers have multiple vocations. But we will be soliciting views from the federal government and Health Canada as we follow up this dossier.”
Work on Albert Murphy
On another topic, another questioner, Mr. Vézina from Chomedey, said to Mayor Demers that when work was being done to repair Albert Murphy Ave. in Chomedey several years ago, the City of Laval didn’t finish the work nor did it install sidewalks on the south portion near Saint Martin Blvd. West on the east side.
As well, he pointed out that flooding takes place there during heavy rains or when snow is melting. In a second question to the mayor, he asked whether following the relocation of the Multicultural Library several years from now, and taking into account that Chomedey is the most populous district in Laval, whether the city could reopen the old Alain Grandbois library branch on Samson Blvd. as it could serve as a second library branch and take pressure off the Multicultural Library.
Mayor Demers’ reply
Mayor Marc Demers said he had no immediate answers regarding the problems on Albert Murphy Ave., but that he would refer them to municipal employees who could furnish the answers. “But I can assure you that we have invested and we will continue to invest considerable sums to improve the streets and sidewalks,” he said. He said the city staffers would be able to explain the timeline for completing the work.
Regarding the library, Mayor Demers said, “We have invested a lot and we are still going to invest a lot in the libraries because they are appreciated by the residents more and more. And the possibility is already being considered for some time to reopen that library [Alain Grandbois], and even that it could become an interesting alternative.”
Ave. des Bois tree cutting
Answering questions about the recent controversy involving the clear cutting of mature trees along Avenue des Bois in Laval-Ouest to make a reserved bus lane, as well as a question about the impending cutting of a large and old tree near the Île Bigras commuter rail station, Mayor Demers said the city has been pursuing an aggressive policy in recent years to preserve its trees. Regarding the Avenue des Bois, he said, “There is a traffic problem there that is growing and that will not (unless we remain confined) go away. And, of course, there are all the other issues like greenhouse gases created every morning and night at rush hours. And that is one of the reasons why this enlargement of Avenue des Bois took place.”