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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  July 27, 2011 10:29:41 AM PDT

BC Greens say Smart Meter health concerns demand action: stop installation, create long-term ‘Smart Grid’

Health, privacy, security and individual rights concerns demand use of Precautionary Principle to guide planning

(Bio – Dr. Magda Havas PhD) (Publications)

July 27, 2011, Victoria, BC –– All jurisdictions imposing blanket implementation of wireless Smart Meters face citizen backlash. Many have placed a moratorium on the installation of wireless Smart Meters pending further study. Others have cancelled their programs.

BC Greens support development of a Smart Grid, of which Smart Meters may be one small and expensive component. If we are to encourage conservation, many other things need to be in place long before a decision is made to purchase a different kind of meter. The type of meter should be the last part of the plan and only implemented if they are proven cost effective and safe.

BC Greens believe feed-in-tariffs, time of day pricing, incentives for conservation, programs and incentives to make homes and buildings more energy efficient, and a distributed grid must all be in place before switching meters. A cost benefit analysis needs to be presented to the public. BC should not follow Ontario down the road to higher costs and no net benefit. As well, wireless technology poses a potential risk to health and the environment and further research that is independent of industry funding is needed.

Prior to implementation, all aspects of the plan must be placed before the regulator. The Clean Energy Act has done the opposite and removed the ability of the BC Utilities Commission to provide oversight on behalf of the citizens of BC.

Magda Havas is Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University where she teaches and does research on the biological effects of environmental contaminants. Since the 1990s, Dr. Havas’s research has focused on the biological effects of electromagnetic pollution including radio frequency radiation, electromagnetic fields, dirty electricity, and ground current. She works with diabetics as well as with individuals who have multiple sclerosis, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and those who are electrically hypersensitive.

Dr. Havas joins Jane Sterk, leader of the Green Party of BC in calling for cancelling implementation of the wireless smart meters. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich supports this change.

“The smart meter program is another example of unsupportable assumptions based on industry lobbying rather than best practices,” says Jane Sterk, leader of the Green Party of BC. “Greens believe all public policy should be evidence based and founded in the Precautionary Principle.

“BC Hydro’s wireless smart meter program violates that principle. There are environmental, privacy and security concerns as well as the potential for adverse health risks. This is an issue that hits at the heart of democratic rights. Individuals have no ability to opt out of a program that may impact the health of those with electro-magnetic sensitivity,” says Sterk.

“I have great concern regarding the current levels of microwave radiation in North America,” says Dr. Magda Havas. “Instead of promoting wireless technology, we should be promoting wired technology and reserving wireless for situations where wired in not possible.

“Shortly after X-rays were discovered, they were used in shoe stores to determine shoe-size for young children. Fortunately, we recognized that X-rays were harmful and we restricted their use to essential medical diagnoses.

“We need to recognize that microwaves are also harmful and we cannot use this technology in a frivolous manner. With more frequencies being used, with the levels of radiation increasing, and with so little research on the long-term, low-level effects of this technology we are creating a potential time bomb. If smart meters are placed on every home, they will increase our exposure to radio frequency radiation–a potential human carcinogen–and this is both unwise and unsafe,” says Havas.

“The Green Party of Canada, through a resolution of our entire membership, has called for the current inadequate Health Canada regulations to be upgraded to the equivalent of the EMF regulations in Germany,” says Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada. “We are entirely too complacent about the growing evidence of health effects from wireless technology.”

“BC Greens believe people should have a right to feel safe and secure in their own homes,” says Sterk. “As it stands now, people cannot opt-out of the smart meter program.

“We favour a well formulated long-term plan with conservation as the driver. Most conservation goals could be achieved without replacing any meters. If it is determined we need new meters, people still need to be able to say no. With pricing and incentives and technology that has been demonstrated to be safe, opting in can be made the more attractive option,” concludes Sterk.

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Contacts:

Jane Sterk, leader Green Party of BC
(250) 507-1715
[email protected]

GPBC office
(250) 590-4537
[email protected]

Dr. Magda Havas
(250) 478-7892 or
(705) 748-1011 ex 7882 after Thursday
[email protected]

Elizabeth May, O.C., M.P., leader Green Party of Canada
(250) 657-2000
[email protected]

http://greenparty.ca/media-release/2011-07-27/bc-greens-say-smart-meter-health-concerns-demand-action

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Halt smart meter installation, says B.C. Green Party

CBC News Posted: Jul 27, 2011 3:15 PM PT Last Updated: Jul 27, 2011

The Green Party of B.C. is calling for a halt to smart meter installation across the province over health and environmental concerns.

Party Leader Jane Sterk said the meters that record energy use in homes and businesses would expose people to electromagnetic radiation, much like microwaves.

She said the World Health Organization has cited electromagnetic radiation as a possible carcinogen.

“So the Green Party is calling on BC Hydro to halt the installation of smart meters, to put in place a long-term energy plan,” Sterk said during a news conference Wednesday.

Sterk appeared with Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University in Ontario, who has written about the possible impact of cell phones or microwaves on fertility rates.

Electromechanical meters throughout B.C. will be replaced by Smart Meters by the end of next year. BC Hydro

“The meters affect reproduction. It’s been shown that sperm are affected by this radiation,” Havas said.

BC Hydro is set to replace electromechanical meters across the province by the end of next year as a way to reduce consumption.

Hydro has said people cannot opt out of the smart meter program, although customers can choose to relocate the meters on their properties at their own expense.

Sterk said the Green Party has supported smart meters in the past, but is now calling for a long-term plan to cut energy consumption, perhaps through the use of wired smart meters that would be safer.

B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall said the meters emit the same kind of radiation as cell phones, microwaves and baby monitors but he notes people won’t have a choice when it comes to having the smart meters.

Dr. Peter Driessen of the University of Victoria added that smart meters transmit only a few minutes a day.

“So I think you could argue that smart meters are less than or equal to or certainly no more than wireless internet on your laptop.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/07/27/bc-hydro-smart-meter.html

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The Canadian Press

Green Party wants halt to Smart Meter installation over health concerns

By: The Canadian Press Posted: 07/27/2011

VANCOUVER – The Green Party of B.C. is calling for a halt to Smart Meter installation across the province over health and environmental concerns.

Party Leader Jane Sterk says the meters that record energy use in homes and businesses would expose people to electromagnetic radiation, much like microwaves.

BC Hydro is set to replace electromechanical meters across the province by the end of next year as a way to reduce consumption.

Hydro has said people cannot opt out of the Smart Meter program, although customers can choose to relocate the meters on their properties at their own expense.

Sterk says the Green Party has supported Smart Meters in the past, but is now calling for a long-term plan to cut energy consumption, perhaps through the use of wired Smart Meters that would be safer.

B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall says the meters emit the same kind of radiation as cell phones, microwaves and baby monitors but he notes people won’t have a choice when it comes to having the Smart Meters.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/greenpage/126277953.html

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Elizabeth May wages war against WiFi

Daniel LeBlanc    July 28, 2011

The Green Party is waging war against WiFi pollution, and Elizabeth May is leading by example.

Ms. May, who was the first Green candidate to win a seat in the House of Commons in the last election, took to Twitter on Wednesday lay out her concerns over “electromagnetic frequencies.” The Green Party’s main targets are so-called wireless “smart meters,” which are set to come into use in British Columbia to monitor the use of electricity.

More related to this story

Writing on her Twitter account (@ElizabethMay), the Green Party Leader said she was glad not to have WiFi at home, and joined ranks with parents who are concerned about the increased access to wireless Internet hookups in schools across Canada.

“It is very disturbing how quickly WiFi has moved into schools as it is children who are the most vulnerable,” said Ms. May.

Faced with critical reactions from some of her 28,700 followers, Ms. May said the World Health Organization lists electromagnetic frequencies as a “possible human carcinogen.”

“I do not act without scientific info,” she said, as she called on Canadian authorities to adopt stronger controls on WiFi that are in place in Europe.

However, Ms. May’s comments on the fact that the use of WiFi might be related to the “disappearance of pollinating insects” fuelled attacks over the soundness of her views.

Still, the Green Party issued a news release shortly after Ms. May took on the issue in social media, calling for the cancellation of plans to introduce smart meters in British Columbia.

“Wireless technology poses a potential risk to health and the environment and further research that is independent of industry funding is needed,” the Green Party said in its news release.

The federal Greens are supporting the B.C. Greens on this file, relying on the studies of Magda Havas, an Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University.

“With more frequencies being used, with the levels of radiation increasing, and with so little research on the long-term, low-level effects of this technology, we are creating a potential time bomb,” Ms. Havas said. “If smart meters are placed on every home, they will increase our exposure to radio frequency radiation — a potential human carcinogen — and this is both unwise and unsafe.”

BC Hydro recently received its first shipment of smart meters, which transmit information about energy use several times a day. The smart meters will replace electro-mechanical meters in every home and business in the province by the end of 2012.

Given health concerns, BC Hydro has decided to allow customers to relocate the meters on their properties at their own cost.

“There are people who adamantly believe there are [health concerns.] They are our customers and we want to be respectful and … responsive. We will do what is reasonable and, to the best of our ability, try to find a mutually acceptable solution,” Gary Murphy, chief project officer for the $930-million program, said earlier this month.

www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/elizabeth-may-wages-war-against-wifi/article2112597/?from=sec431

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