For immediate release   Oct 1, 2011

Friday September 30, 2011 was a great day for democracy in British Columbia.

On that auspicious day the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) passed a resolution at their annual general meeting in Vancouver that asked the provincial government to place a moratorium on BC Hydro’s so called smart meter program, until citizens concerns regarding protecting their health, their privacy and the costs of the program were met.

Although this vote is non-binding for the provincial government this action by an organization that represents all the mayors and city councils in British Columbia is a significant statement in regards as to how the public is rejecting the smart meter program.

Several groups concerned particularly about the health threats posed by the radio frequency radiation emitted from the smart appliances, the smart meters and the province wide wireless smart grid, headed up the efforts to inform delegates. These citizens fought through bureaucratic blocks and convention security barriers to have their voices heard.

Sharon Noble, from Coalition to Stop Smart Meters, is the author of the moratorium

resolution which has been passed by seventeen municipal councils. Sharon wrote to the UBCM and offered to personally pay to have independent experts speak to the health issues. This offer was rejected by the chairperson of the convention. Instead the UBCM allowed independent experts paid for by BC Hydro to speak.

Una St Clair from the Citizens for Safe Technology states “the powers that be disrespected us and attempted to disenfranchise us. They even tried to get rid of us; one security official said we were lucky we were not fire hosed and tear gassed.”

Walt McGinnis representing the EM Radiation Health Alliance of BC states even though we were relegated out to the sidewalk in front of the convention center by security officials, while BC Hydro officials sat in the comfy chairs inside, we were still able to get our message to many delegates. This was due also to the support of many delegates that came out and talked to us during the 5 days we stood outside, some days in the rain from 7 AM till 4 PM. “These delegates saved democracy” claims McGinnis “and have to be acknowledged especially Phillipe Lucas a councillor from Victoria.”

Those same delegates fought hard to get the resolution onto the agenda and get it passed. Not one delegate spoke in favor of the smart meter program despite the lobbying of Hydro officials and the Liberal government.

Hydro was an official sponsor of the convention. Only information provided by Hydro regarding smart meters was allowed to be distributed to delegates. “Despite all this manipulation, the goodness and common sense of these city officials prevailed and we clawed back a little democracy for the citizens of this province by getting this resolution passed”, stated Chris Anderson  representing Gulf Islanders for Safe Technology, from Saltspring Island who are determined to make the island a smart meter free zone.

Contact Walt McGinnis  EM Radiation Health Alliance of BC  250 652 5606