three proposed cell phone towers

proposed cell phone towers on Cortes & Quadra Islands

Telus unveiled its plan to erect five cell phone towers on Cortes and Quadra Islands at the January 13th, 2021 SRD Board meeting. More recently, they have given public announcements for three proposed towers.

TELUS photo by Andrew Currie via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Three proposed Cell Towers, so far

Two weeks ago they announced plans to erect a 73 foot metre tower is proposed on land owned by the We Wai Nation in Drew Harbour, Quadra Island. Anyone wishing to comment on this project has until  June 4th

Another two towers have now been announced on Cortes Island.

  • A 63.1 metre tall tower is proposed on TELUS’ property at  798 Rexford Road, in Mansons Landing.
  • A second tower, 73 metres high, is to go up at 765 Whaletown Road in Whaletown.  

The public comment period for these towers ends on June 28,2021.

According to TELUS’ original plan, there could be another two towers. They did not answer a Cortes Currents query about an agreement they mentioned reaching, with a Squirrel Cove property owner, last January. They were looking for a property in the Heriot Bay area at that time. 

A TELUS spokesperson emailed, “We are seeking input from local residents through the public consultation process, which is underway. We will continue working with the community and the Strathcona Regional District, and look forward to keeping residents updated as we progress toward our goal of upgrading wireless service in 2022.”

proposed cell phone tower: Mansons Landing
The Telus property in Mansons Landing – courtesy TELUS’ Planned Wireless Service Improvements in the Discovery Islands presentation to the SRD Board, Jan 13, 2021

What about Connected Coast?

A concerned citizen wrote, in the Cortes Tideline,“If Telus gets the bid to build their towers on Cortes and Quadra, then the Connected Coast Project would not receive the funding it needs to be completed, as these areas would no longer be considered ‘unserved’. If the Connected Coast Project lost its funding, we’d be losing the opportunity for remote communities who could benefit from this government funded telecommunications infrastructure.”

She suggests that while our local internet provider, Twincomm, ‘could have the opportunity‘ to use Connected Coast’s cables, TELUS’ towers would take away their business.

The TELUS spokesperson claimed the towers are “part of a broader project to improve cellular coverage throughout the inside passage of Coastal B.C. These proposals will provide residents of Cortes Island with an excellent level of cellular connectivity and will complement the high-speed Internet access planned as part of the Connected Coast project.”

proposed cell phone tower: Whaletown
Images above and at top of page: Proposed Cell phone tower at 765 Whaletown Road on Cortes Island – Courtesy TELUS

Health Risks 

Our concerned citizen points to potential health risks:

  • “There’s no evidence to say that these 60 metre high base stations are absolutely safe for those living next to them.” 
  • “Most organizations agree that more peer reviewed studies and non-politicised research is needed to clarify the long-term effects of electromagnetic frequencies on those living in close proximity to the towers.”
  • “Why has Telus not advertised their plan to convert these towers to 5G?”

Last January, Doug Anastos, Senior Program Manager of TELUS, told the SRD Board, “Right now we are deploying 4G LTE service … It is a transitionary period right now. our network will transition over to 5G in the next several years. In a rural area like this, it is going to look a lot like 4G.” 

What do you say to people who are concerned?

Cortes Currents emailed TELUS that, “A number of Cortes residents are concerned about electromagnetic waves. As I understand it, this project will eventually transition to 5G? Do you have anything to say to people who are concerned?”

The TELUS spokesperson did not mention 5G in her reply, “Our cell towers and wireless technology are governed by Safety Code 6, which sets limits for safe human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic energy and is overseen by the Canadian government, specifically ISED and Health Canada. All TELUS devices, services, and wireless sites fall well within safe levels as set out in the code, which is one of the strictest in the developed world. In fact, as wireless sites are low-powered by the nature of their technology, many of our sites emit a signal hundreds – or even thousands – of times below the levels set by the federal government.”

A Health Canada webpage on 5G technology states, “Cell phone towers operate at a higher power than cell phones but the radiofrequency EMF they emit is much further away from your body. This means your exposure level from such antennas is usually much lower than your exposure level from using a cell phone.” 

Public Consultation

Our concerned citizen says, “It’s time to demand PUBLIC CONSULTATION immediately.”

She suggests that in addition to TELUS’ consultant, people send their concerns to the Strathcona Regional District’s CAO David Leitch ( and cc Cortes Island’s Regional Director (

Top photo credit: Rendering for the cell site that TELUS is proposing to serve the Gorge Harbour area – courtesy TELUS

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5 thoughts on “proposed cell phone towers on Cortes & Quadra Islands”

  1. My friends from Singapore laugh at our tiny bandwidth. . . 5G will not fix these slow speeds. Like in Singapore, to have the Gbps go waaay up, we require fiber optic connections.

    All the wireless is for self-driving cars and spy fridges. Forget about it. And if you like it, Star Link is available in our area now –so Tel US(A) can kindly GFO.

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