Last fall, residents of a neighborhood in West Kelowna, British Columbia, couldn’t help but notice a hateful addition to the hill across the lake.
“There were always three towers with lights always on, but these kept flashing in one, two, three, and on a clear night they literally eclipsed the moon. It was awful, ”said Ryan Holt, president of the Casa Loma Community Association.
It affected some people’s ability to sleep, but they hoped it would be a short-lived problem.
“We thought they were temporary,” Holt said.
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But time passed and months later they were still aggravated by the flashing lights which turned out to be a radio bell tower.
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No one Holt spoke to knew what they were, so he kept asking for information, eventually ending up at Kelowna International Airport. There, he reunited with someone in the hopes that they could shed some light on the already blinding situation.
It was there that he learned that Transport Canada’s change in regulations was prompting Bell Media to upgrade the lights in its towers. Contacting them initially had little effect, so Holt asked West Kelowna Mayor and MLA Dan Albas for help, and it made a difference.
Albas said he made a request to Bell on behalf of the council and Bell was willing to consider it.
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The regulations, Albas said, came from Transport Canada, but because the tower already existed, Bell found they could dim the lights.
Albas said he was an example of how things can work well when different levels of government work together.
Holt said it was just a relief.
“It’s drastic,” he said, estimating that the lights now have a tenth of the brightness they had in early summer.
“They are still bright enough now, but quite acceptable. This Transport Canada rule has gone too far.
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