Edna Pettipas vs Bell Aliant

Precedent-setting Case Regarding Health Dangers of Cell Towers to Be Heard by Nova Scotia Supreme Court

The Story

In 1994, the Pettipas bought a 16-acre property with the hopes of one day building a home with views of St. Georges Bay. In 2001, they were approached by Bell Aliant about the possibility of placing a cell phone tower on the property. Edna said they faced intense pressure by the company. “They told us that we either agree to let them put the tower up there behind our homesite or if we didn’t they would go to a neighbour and the tower could have been located beside or in front the house,” she said. “I felt blackmailed.” (note: Bell is doing the same thing here in East Bolton, QC, saying the exact same thing to Yvan on chemin Mountain!)

Having been reassured by Bell Aliant that there were no safety issues, they gave a 20-year lease to the company, which erected the tower in February 2002. In 2007 the Pettipas built what was supposed to be their dream home, and moved in. “We started getting sick instantaneously,” Edna said. “The more exposure we got the sicker we got.” In September 2008, she and her teenage daughter moved out of the house after discovering Edna’s tumor marker levels were “through the roof.” They tried moving back into the house in March 2009 but didn’t last the day. Every time she was on the property her tumor marker levels skyrocketed, and when she left, they came back down.

Edna has been diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), and she has also developed breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy.

In 2011, the Pettipas decided to sue Bell Aliant for fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, and for breach of implied warranty. They are asking the court to order the termination of Bell Aliant’s lease and the removal of the tower, as well as to award them damages for the loss of use of their property and for personal injuries. “I won’t be getting my breasts back,” she says. I may never completely recover from this but I’ll take what I can get if I am completely compensated. It would be nice for me to move into my dream home.”

In December 2013, they were heard, and on January 27, 2014 the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia issued a ruling against Bell Aliant’s attempt to have the case dismissed, and forcing them to go to trial.

Read the Nova Scotia Supreme Court’s decision here: http://canlii.ca/t/g2z88 They will now have to go to court.

The trial is set for April 20, 2015.

If Edna wins, this case will set a precedent and change everything going forward for all Canadians fighting towers. Therefore, Bell will do everything in its power to win. Edna’s lawyer, Jamie MacGillivray, has shown bravery in taking the case on contingency, i.e. he does not get paid unless he wins.

However, fundraising is necessary to cover the costs of bringing international experts to testify at the trial. Here is the list of doctors, scientists, and engineering consultants that have been chosen to be their expert witnesses:

  • Enrique Navarro, PhD, Professor of Physics, University of Valencia, Spain. Researcher in electromagnetism. Teaches communication systems, microwaves, and antennas;
  • Horst Eger, MD, of Naila, Germany. Physician and epidemiologist;
  • Anthony Miller, MD, of Toronto, Canada. Specialist in the epidemiology of breast cancer; Emeritus Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto;
  • Martin Blank, PhD. Retired professor in the Dept. of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University, living in Victoria, BC;
  • Kumar Biswas, ND of British Columbia;
  • Jonathan Fox, MD, of Fall River, Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia Environmental Health Center);
  • Ben Boucher, MD, of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Edna’s family doctor);
  • Magda Havas, PhD, of Peterborough, Ontario. Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University;
  • Walter McGinnis, of McGinnis Electric in Victoria, BC;
  • Patrick Last, building biologist in Salisbury, New Brunswick.

Please donate to Edna’s legal fund to enable these witnesses to attend. Her fight is our fight.

If Edna wins, we all win. Here are Edna’s words (email to our Eastern Townships group of citizens fighting towers, October 4, 2014): “Thank you very much for writing. I hope you will be successful in your fight and my heart is with you. I am hoping my court case, which is only 6 months away will have a positive outcome. It could very well help others by setting a precedent! I greatly appreciate your offer of financial donations. We have not yet reached our financial goal. It will cost us probably $16,000-$17,000 just to get our experts to court (flights, accommodation’s, meals, rent a car, wages, etc.). And not even mentioning what it has already cost to obtain our experts, written reports, etc. (the donations already received have greatly helped to make this possible).”

Here is how to donate to Edna.   Remember: Her fight is our fight. If Edna wins, we all win. All donations will be used strictly towards bringing witnesses for Edna’s case.

Paypal:          https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=4WA35A8J9F88S

Mail a cheque/money order to:

Edna Pettipas

484 Old Antigonish Road

Antigonish, NS B0H 1A0

Email transfer (interac etransfer): [email protected]

Please share this information with others.