‘Smart’ meters are the new HST: Globalist ‘Liberal’ guard-dog Coleman goes on attack after 55% of municipalities call for wired options

Smart meter dislike won’t change plan: minister

At civic politicians meeting, 55% vote to halt mandatory installation

BY ROB SHAW AND ANDREW A. DUFFY, TIMESCOLONIST.COM SEPTEMBER 30, 2011
Critics of the smart-meter program say privacyCritics of the smart-meter program say privacy and health issues related to smart meters have not been addressed by B.C. Hydro, adding that the devices could lead to a “time of day” pricing system. and health issues related to smart meters have not been addressed by B.C. Hydro, adding that the devices could lead to a “time of day” pricing system.

Opposition from the Union of B.C. Municipalities won’t put a stop to the installation of smart meters, says the minister responsible for B.C. Hydro.

Energy Minister Rich Coleman said he’s not concerned about a UBCM resolution asking for a moratorium on mandatory meter installation because he did not hear the same concerns during one-on-one meetings with municipal leaders.

The government first announced smart meters at UBCM four years ago, and then passed the formal legislation last year.

“They’ve known about them for four years,” Coleman said. “It’s one of those things that people out there who are opposed to this, they’d be opposed to it even if we gave them all the information.”

The $930-million program will replace the electro-mechanical meters installed in every house and business in the province with new digital meters that provide two-way communication through secure connections between homes and B.C. Hydro. The program, which is to install 1.9 million meters by the end of 2012, is designed to provide a more accurate picture of energy consumption, both to Hydro and the consumer.

Health concerns over radiation emitted by the meters have spurred most of the backlash against the program, but there have also been concerns raised over privacy, cost of the program, lack of consultation and the perception the move is a springboard to a time-of-day pricing system.

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said the UBCM resolution, which passed with 55 per cent of the vote, is about standing up for some concerned citizens. Victoria council passed a motion in August asking B.C. Hydro to create a hard-wired option to its wireless smart meters to deal with health concerns over electromagnetic radiation.

“Ultimately, the hope is B.C. Hydro will explore the potential for citizens to opt out,” Fortin said. “Certainly there’s a huge benefit to be seen through smart meters [in terms of] conserving energy and lowering costs, but we have heard concerns from members of our community and we want to make sure those concerns will be addressed.”

Fortin conceded the issue is out of the UBCM’s jurisdiction, but said a UBCM resolution adds some heft to citizen concerns. The resolution is not binding on the government.

University of Victoria political science professor emeritus Norman Ruff warns the Liberal government that it runs the risk of turning smart meters into the next harmonized sales tax, in which the actual merits or drawbacks are overshadowed by unhappiness about the way the government introduced it.

Ruff pointed to recent comments by Coleman that the public needs to be better educated on smart meters to understand their benefits.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, they haven’t learned a thing because that was the attitude that got them into the HST [trouble],” Ruff said.

 

Read more:http://www.timescolonist.com/health/Smart+meter+dislike+change+plan+minister/5486154/story.html#ixzz1ZXgKmVMe

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