Citizens seek ban on smart meters

Vernon debates Citizens for Safe Technology request to prohibit installation of B.C. Hydro Smart Meters

Some Vernon politicians aren’t convinced a protest again smart meters will be effective.

A group known as Citizens for Safe Technology has asked the city to prohibit B.C. Hydro from installing remote monitoring devices on homes.

However, Coun. Bob Spiers points out that other communities have already taken a similar position and the Crown corporation’s plans are proceeding.

“If they haven’t heard the message now, will our local community tip the balance?” he said.

B.C. Hydro insists the devices do not present a health concern and do not impede on privacy, but Citizens for Safe Technology disagrees.

“Many serious problems have been reported,” said spokesperson Mike Pearson of meters in the U.S. and Ontario.

Pearson claims microwave radiation exposure can create a range of health issues, while the utility knows what appliances you are using by monitoring the meter.

Pearson also says it could cost $1 billion to install meters in B.C.

“We can’t afford a program that has no benefit.”

The city will discuss the request for a ban March 26, but a decision could take some time.

“There are two sides to that one,” said Coun. Brian Quiring of the potential impact of smart meters.

“I appreciate their concerns (Citizens for Safe Technology) but we need to educate ourselves on the other side.”