Telecommunication Antenna Structures Siting Policy

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Cell tower graphic 


The Federal Minister of Industry is the approving authority for telecommunication antenna structures as per the Radiocommunication Act.  Industry Canada requires that, in certain cases, the City and the public must be consulted regarding the proposed placement of a telecommunication antenna structure to balance the increasing demand for wireless services with the needs of neighbourhoods and communities. The City’s Land and Building Services Department is responsible for reviewing these submissions and providing a letter of support (concurrence) or non-support (non-concurrence) to proponents.

Industry Canada has established CPC-2-0-03 to ensure the orderly development and efficient operation of radiocommunication in Canada.  This document contains a requirement for proponents seeking to install or modify antenna systems to consult with local land-use authorities (i.e. the City of Whitehorse).  Local land-use authorities are encouraged to develop their own protocols to address a proponent’s requirements for an antenna structure submission to the City. The protocols may also contain specific requirements for public consultation, co-location investigation and tower design criteria. Administration is now bringing forward a recommended set of submission requirements in the form of a draft policy document.


The draft policy document closely follows the recommended format contained in Industry Canada’s “Guide to Assist Land-use Authorities in Developing Antenna Siting Protocols” and in the FCM/CWTA – “Antenna System Siting Protocol Template”.

The proposed policy allows the City to review and comment on the proposed location of a telecommunication antenna structure and aspects of its design, including, but not limited to, height, colour, type, number of antennae to be placed on the structure, screening of any equipment compound, the design and materials to be used for any equipment storage shed, the potential for co-location of other proponents on the structure, and compliance with applicable City bylaws. Based on this review, a letter of support or non-support is issued by administration.

It is recognized that different types of telecommunication antenna structures may create different magnitudes or degrees of impact and concern within the community and on the existing built environment of the city in general. Consequently, the draft policy identifies three different categories of submissions with the objective of making the assessment and evaluation of these types of submissions more efficient and functional with respect to procedures, actions required and processing times.

  • Type A submissions are for larger antenna structures that are deemed to have potential impacts to the community, environment and to the existing urban fabric of the city in general. These submissions typically involve public consultation and are processed within 45 days.
  • Type B submissions are considered to have low or no impacts to the community or the city in general. These submissions do not involve public consultation and are processed within 21 days. 
  • Type C submissions involve antenna structures that have a limited operational time frame and have negligible adverse impacts on the community or the city in general. These submissions include antenna co-location scenarios and are processed within 10 days.

It is noted in the draft policy that the City does not assess any submission with respect to health and radiofrequency exposure issues or any other non-placement or non-design related issues. Health Canada sets radiofrequency exposure guidelines, identified in Safety Code 6, to establish safety limits for human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy.

More Information

Please visit Industry Canada’s website for facts about towers and an explanation of the requirements of proponents that are looking to install towers:


The City is collecting comments on the draft policy until January 31, 2018.  Please submit comments to Pat Ross, Manager, Land and Building Services at 668-8339 or