A split vote at the Board of Health means that a policy on cell phone tower radiofrequencies will stay put for now, unless council decides otherwise as a whole.
The city's medical officer of health is recommending that the city's "prudent avoidance policy," introduced in 2008, be discontinued. The policy has required that radiofrequencies be kept 100 times below the federal "Safety Code 6" in areas where the public spends time.
Dr. David McKeown told board members that the policy was precautionary and was meant to be revisited.
He says after five years of reviewing evidence, he does not think the policy is required.
"The vast majority of the expert or systematic reviews that have been done have concluded either that there isn't a risk or that there isn't enough evidence to say that there is a risk for this particular situation," he says.
But some councillors like Sarah Doucette want to keep the precautionary policy in place until more evidence is available.
"I would like to keep it until the federal government has done their review," Doucette says, adding that a review is expected to be completed by the spring.
In the end, the board voted 4-4 to approve Dr. McKeown's recommendation, which was not the majority required.
The report still goes to council for a final vote.