Cell tower fires in Quebec continue to burn, with two more going up in flames early Thursday morning.
According to CTV News, sixth and seventh cell tower fires caught fire in the greater Montreal region early this morning, but Quebec provincial police say they have two suspects in custody.
“They’re presently in custody and being interrogated by our investigators,” said Sûreté du Québec (SQ) Sgt. Louis-Philippe Bibeau, in an interview with CTV News on Thursday.
A man and woman in their 20s were arrested at 1:30am in Saint-Adèle on Thursday morning, after cell tower fires were reported in Saint-Jérôme and Blainville.
Wednesday morning saw a cell tower on fire in the Fabreville area of Laval, while on Monday, two other towers were lit up in Prévost and Piedmont. Last Friday, a tower in Laval’s Chomedey area caught fire.
The cell tower fires are apparently linked to conspiracy theories that suspect next-generation 5G is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other areas around the world have seen 5G towers lit up in flames. The towers set on fire are 3G and 4G towers, with some belonging to Telus and Rogers.
Canada’s wireless networks have barely begun to roll out 5G. Rogers has a 5G network up in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal for the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G. The company will start charging $15/month for 5G access in 2021.
The World Health Organization says there are no adverse health effects linked to 5G networks.
Yesterday, Navdeep Bains, the Minister Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said he was “troubled” by the cell tower fires in Quebec.
Very troubled by the reports of vandalism of Canadian cell towers. As many of us are staying home, we’re relying on wireless and internet services to connect to our work, school, and loved ones. These criminal acts are completely unacceptable and threaten emergency services.
— Navdeep Bains (@NavdeepSBains) May 5, 2020
Telus, which had one of its towers in Piédmont catch flames, previously told iPhone in Canada in a statement, “When vital 4G LTE infrastructure is destroyed by criminal acts, lives are put at risk by removing the ability for local citizens to call 911. Our networks are more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis in enabling Canadians to stay connected to their jobs, schools, medical help, government services, and loved ones. We are actively working with law enforcement to protect our network infrastructure to ensure we can continue offering critical services to our customers.”
Quebec provincial police are handling the investigation into the cell tower fires, but the RCMP say they are ready to assist if necessary.