“Privacy, Security and Health”

Objections to BC Hydro’s “Smartmetering and Infrastructure” Program
Prompts Action by Islands Trust Council

The Gulf Islands Trust Council – representing all Island residents –  has unanimously endorsed the call from constituents for BC Hydro to delay forcing wireless smart meters on the public and to engage in consultations with Trust Area residents regarding smart metering.

Following a delegation presentation on June 15th from the anti-“smartmetering” group, Gulf Islanders for Safe Technology, at the quarterly Council meeting on Denman Island, the Islands Trust Council has recommended to BC Hydro President & CEO, David Cobb and to the BC Liberal government:

“… delaying the installation of Smart Meters until the public concerns about privacy, security and health issues can be resolved.”  The Council’s position statement recommends that “If wireless meters are creating concerns about health and privacy, then wired transmission is an alternative to consider.”

“The Council’s position and action here, in calling for a delay in implementing this dangerous wireless technology is constructive and supportive of a growing belief that BC Hydro’s current plan makes no sense at all,” says Chris Anderson, spokesman for the Gulf Islanders for Safe Technology citizen group.  “This ‘smart’ plan is ‘smart’ only for BC Hydro.  The only benefits are to this corporation while citizens stand to lose from higher electricity bills, huge provincial debt, and vast increases of electromagnetic pollution which the World Health Organization has just classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans,” says Anderson.

The Municipality of Colwood and Lake Cowichan District have also written to the Premier, BC Minister of Energy & Mines, and BC Minister of Health in response to their constituents’ concerns about privacy, security, safety, and health. Presentations by B.C. citizens to other municipalities and districts are being planned.

Contact: Chris Anderson (250-537-5102)
[email protected]
Gulf Islanders for Safe Technology


Town council backs anti-Smart Meter stance

by Tyler clarke – July 04, 2011
BC Hydro did not do an adequate job of educating the public as to the Smart Meters they are currently installing.

That is the message mayor and council had to share, following an impassioned anti-Smart Meter presentation by Mesachie Lake resident Mary Lowther.

“I’m a little concerned that BC Hydro is dumping this on us without educating us,” mayor Ross Forrest said.

“I think they should have started this off by sitting down with each municipality,” councillor Tim McGonigle said, in agreement. “I think it’s prudent to investigate all angles, both good and bad.”

During her presentation, Lowther outlined several concerns around Smart Meters, including the potential for increased monthly billing; security, in that the Smart Meters can be hacked into; and radio frequencies, which she said BC Hydro may be understating the significance of.

“Even if the radiation level was small, it would still be detrimental to our health,” she said. “Which straw will break the camel’s back?”

Councillor Bob Day then inquired about the town’s water meters, and whether or not the radiation from them is significant enough to raise alarms. Mayor Ross Forrest responded by stating that they send signals only once every six months, and shouldn’t be of concern, compared to the much more frequently-emitting Smart Meters.

Council hopes to meet with BC Hydro representatives to further discuss the Smart Meters.

So far, in addition to the Town of Lake Cowichan, Lowther has gained the support of the Cowichan Valley Regional District Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls Advisory Planning Commission. She plans on visiting the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Tuesday, July 5, Electoral Area Services committee meeting to garner their support.


Trust Council backs anti-smart meter campaign

By Elizabeth Nolan – Gulf Islands Driftwood
Published: July 06, 2011 10:00 AM

Opponents of BC Hydro’s smart meter program have received support from Islands Trust Council.

Gulf Islanders For Safe Technology chair Chris Anderson made a delegation to the Trust’s quarterly meeting on Denman Island in mid-June. His group has pointed to problems with the plan to install smart meters across the province, including unknown health risks posed by electromagnetic radiation, the risk of information hacking and increased costs.

Anderson’s presentation clearly made an impact on the Islands Trust Council, whose members unanimously passed a resolution to let BC Hydro know about concerns in the Trust area.

A June 30 letter from the council to BC Hydro CEO David Cobb asks the utility to delay implementing the program until public concerns about safety and security are resolved.

“You may find it of interest that in 2008, the Salt Spring Island Official Community Plan included an advocacy statement encouraging BC Hydro to implement smart meters, net-metering and off-peak metering,” writes chair Sheila Malcomson. “That endorsement was intended to promote energy conservation and did not refer to particular transmission technology. If wireless meters are creating concerns about health and privacy, then wired transmission is an alternative to consider.”

While smart meter programs are rolling out in districts across the United States, citizens groups in several areas have made inroads opposing local programs. On May 25, Maine customers won the right in court to opt out of the program. According to Anderson, however, opting out is not really effective for individual homes because radiation will be emitted from neighbouring houses and the network of transmitters.

GIFST will hold an information rally at the gazebo in Centennial Park this Saturday, July 9 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Speakers include Una St.Clair-Moniz, chair of Citizens for Safe Technology, Sharon Noble of CAUSE (Citizens Against Unsafe Emissions), Walt McGinnis from the Electromagnetic Radiation Health Alliance of B.C. and local trustee George Ehring.