Gulf Islanders for Safe Technology,

130 Forest Hill Place, Salt Spring Isl.,B.C.,

www.gifst.ca

EM Radiation Health Alliance of B.C.

144 Durrance Rd., Victoria, B.C.

www.emrabc.ca

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 29, 2011

“SMART” METERS ARE COMING AND MANY PEOPLE DON’T WANT THEM!

BC Hydro’s plan to spend over 1 billion taxpayer dollars to replace our current electricity meters with wireless ‘smart’ meters is making many B.C. taxpayers angry. They’re questioning why the rush, and why no public debate. Concerned citizens will thus be travelling to Victoria to demonstrate opposition to the BC Hydro plan at the B.C. Legislature on Wednesday, June 1 at 12 noon.

At the same time, Energy Critic John Horgan, MLA, and Sue Hammel, MLA, are presenting petitions with hundreds of signatures to the Legislative Assembly, demanding a halt to the smart metering and infrastructure program, before the session ends on Thursday, June 2.

The purpose of this demonstration is to bring to the attention of government and the public the many deficiencies in the plan as presented. Organizers stress that these meters are not ‘green’ as originally claimed, nor do they save any energy or money for customers and the province.

Citizens’ groups opposing the “smart” grid plan, are working together on what they are calling the Power to the People – Stop “Smart” Meters Campaign. They want to let Energy Minister Coleman and Premier Clark know that the public is upset by not having been consulted, about what is a B.C. Liberal Party / BC Hydro decision. These informed citizens are putting our elected officials and the public on notice that there has been no democratic, open community process concerning this most comprehensive change ever in our publicly-owned electrical utility. They will not allow the meters to be put on their homes. In many jurisdictions under threat from “smart” technology, citizens are installing lockable enclosures around their Hydro meters.  Stop “Smar”t Meter campaigners insist that this heavily-flawed plan be abandoned until glaring health, privacy, security and operational defects have been addressed fully.

Gulf Islanders for Safe Technology, an ad hoc group formed to oppose BC Hydro’s ‘smart’ grid plan, together with three other local, citizens’ groups active in the area of electromagnetic radiation health effects, are organizing this demonstration.

Saanich electrical contractor and spokesman for the EM Radiation Health Alliance of B.C., Walter McGinnis, states that: “In parts of the continent where these radiofrequency-emitting “smart” meters are deployed, customers are complaining that electricity bills increased significantly after the meters were installed. In addition, the radiation from the wireless meters is very similar to radiation from cell phone technology, which many scientists have shown to be dangerous. The worst feature of “smart” meters is that many thousands have become ill following their installation as a result of exposure to radiofrequency radiation.”

Further, as Gulf Islanders for Safe Technology spokesman Chris Anderson of Salt Spring Island asks: “Why is our government continuing with this badly-flawed program when similar programs all over North America have failed to save money or energy and are making so many people sick? Why not use the $1 billion to help people really save energy by insulating homes and installing better windows or more efficient furnaces? Why not increase solar hot water system subsidies, thus saving hydro costs and usage? This would all create more jobs which would really help our economy.”

BC Hydro is planning to install the radiating meters by mid-July, spending money with no oversight by the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC), even after Premier McGuinty of Ontario, where smart meters are in place, admitted there was no cost or energy savings from their “smart” grid program, and that Hydro bills have increased suddenly. The public has a short time to make its concerns known to Mr. Coleman and Premier Clark.

Contacts: Chris Anderson, canderson@uniserve.com, 250-537-5102 (for Gulf Islanders for Safe Technology)

Walter McGinnis, emf@islandnet.com , 250-652-2554 (for EM Radiation Health Alliance (of B.C.) Society