Osoyoos, BC



Regina, SK




Merritt, BC

Lower Nicola Indian Band resists smart meters

The Lower Nicola Indian Band will resist efforts to install smart meters on reserve even though the band’s executive director

says that fight is most likely a losing battle.Lower Nicola band staff have prevented smart-meter installers from gaining access to band buildings and sent notices

refusing smart meters to on-reserve homeowners and tenants.Band public works manager Hyrum Peterson says that he was directed to lock up the electrical meters currently installed

on Lower Nicola public buildings.”We’re not blocking access to the meter readers,” he explains. “We’re blocking access to Corix.”

Corix is the contractor BC Hydro has hired to install wireless smart meters across the province.
Peterson says that the conventional digital and analogue meters already in place on public buildings will stay there

until the band receives more assurance that the wireless smart meters are safe.
Meanwhile, Lower Nicola housing manager Joe Shuter says his department sent notices to the occupants of all
housing units, privately owned and band-owned, on reserve land about two months ago.
The notices, meant to be posted on a home’s current meter, refuses acceptance of a smart meter.

Shuter says a unit’s occupant can decide whether or not to attach the notice.”You have to decline or else they’ll install it,” he explains.

“There is a general opinion that we don’t want the smart meters on our homes.”

Shuter says he is unsure of the exact number of refusal notices have been posted but believes there are many.

There are about 200 homes on the reserve, he says.Despite the notices, Corix has already changed the meters on some on-reserve homes.
“We’ve had two groups of houses with smart meters installed even though we didn’t want them.”Shuter says BC Hydro told him Corix was installing meters nearby and continued working on Lower Nicola houses without realizing they had wandered onto reserve land. Reverting to the meters formerly installed
was apparently impossible, he adds. “That’s the story Hydro’s telling us—that once they pull off the old meter, they immediately destroy the meter.”
Narcisse, Lower Nicola’s executive director, says the band council has not considered a resolution or other motion against smart meters, such as a request for a moratorium.
However, Shuter and Peterson are allowed to act as they see fit to discourage their adoption on band territory.
“I’ve given him authorization to do whatever he feels is necessary to protect the community from these things,” Narcisse says of Peterson.
Nevertheless, Narcisse says he believes that smart meters are a reality, whether or not band members want them.
“They’re going to stick these things in at sometime or another.
“If someone says they’re going to do something and they have all the power in the world to do it, it’s going to get done.”


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