Ottawa Ramps up Opposition to Tsawwassen’s Cross Border Broadcast Towers


Industry Minister James Moore says he’s articulated residents’ concerns to U.S. officials

 by Sandor Gyarmati, Delta Optimist  October 10, 2014 

                    The Cross Border Coalition to Stop the Radio Towers hosted a fundraising concert at Seabright Farms in Point Roberts last month.   Photograph By Gord Goble

The federal government is finally showing concern about the contentious proposal to install radio transmission towers in Point Roberts, but recent statements could be too little, too late.

In a recent letter to Mayor Lois Jackson, Industry Minister James Moore noted he met with members of the Cross Border Coalition to Stop the Radio Towers in August and understands their concerns, which have also been conveyed by Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay.

“To be clear, Industry Canada has articulated the concerns raised by Tsawwassen residents, particularly as they relate to blanketing interference, to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials ensuring that nearby homes are not subject to unwanted disruptions,” Moore stated.

The Consulate General of Canada in Seattle has also “raised Canada’s frustrations” with Washington state officials, noted Moore, who added he has personally spoken to Bruce Heyman, ambassador for the United Sates to Canada in Ottawa, to raise “Canada’s concern and our expectations that cross-border Canadian residents are included in the county and FCC decision making.”

The letter by Moore, who has also asked the ambassador to visit the area, is the strongest position taken in public yet regarding the contentious radio towers proposal. Moore and Findlay had been criticized by opponents of the proposal for not speaking out on the issue or taking it up with the FCC in the U.S. The mayor and council recently wrote to Moore reiterating Delta’s concerns, mentioning a recent citizens’ petition to the House of Commons and asking for the government to intervene.

Delta has also asked that an Industry Canada representative speak at an upcoming public hearing in Whatcom County, but there’s no indication the federal government will to go that far.

BBC Broadcasting Inc. wants to construct five 45-metre (150-foot) steel towers at an undeveloped lot on McKenzie Way, about 330 metres from the Tsawwassen border.

The towers would transmit South Asian radio station KRPI, AM 1550, which currently broadcasts from studios in Richmond to a Lower Mainland audience.

The broadcaster currently uses antenna in Ferndale, Wash., but wants to move them closer and have a stronger 50,000-watt, allday signal. The FCC granted approval but a permit is still required by the county, which is recommending rezoning approval.



  1. Not to be cynical or parochial but to be cynical AND parochial: if this was going on in Ontario or Quebec, you think it would even be worthy of a posting on PSR? IMHO, it would have been dealt with a long LONG time ago by the CRTC, MOT, and any other body in Ottawa with some sway. But, here in the west…well,
    I rest my case

  2. The centralist complexion of Canadian thinking is perhaps best typified by two of our most common sayings: “BACK East” and “OUT West.” It’s the way Canadians think of this Dominion.


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