Nanaimo woman will speak before city council next month; Greens want hearings

by Darrell Bellaart    July 30, 2011
Growing public concerns surrounding B.C. Hydro’s plans to use radio waves to transmit data on home power consumption will soon be heard at Nanaimo city council.

A Nanaimo spokeswoman for Citizens for Safe Technology will go before council Aug. 8 with a request for a moratorium on the use of radio transmitters in so-called smart meters, which B.C. Hydro plans to install in every residence in the province.

Barbara Scott said she has about 100 supporters in Nanaimo from canvassing door-to-door. She and several others plan to take their message about radio wave health hazards and options for preventing what she calls growing “electromagnetic smog that will overrun our neighbourhoods.”

Radio energy has been used commercially since the 1920s, but opponents say little research has been done on the health effects of radio frequency waves.

The B.C. Green Party wants B.C. Hydro to shelve its $930-million smart meter program until public hearings can be held and the health effects of the wireless devices can be determined.

Leader Jane Sterk said the party believes people should be able to opt out of the program.

B.C. Hydro said it wants to hear from customers on this issue.

“We’re asking customers that are concerned to contact us directly, and in regards to radio frequency, we work with the provincial health authorities, Health Canada and the radio frequency lab at UBC,” said Karla Louwers, B.C. Hydro spokeswoman.

To contact Hydro, e-mail [email protected] or call 1-800-224-9376.