Small says no to smart meters

Port Moody Coun. Rosemary Small has concerns about BC Hydro
Port Moody Coun. Rosemary Small has concerns about BC Hydro's smart meter program.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO/TRI-CITY NEWS

A Port Moody councillor is saying "no thanks" to BC Hydro's smart meters.

At Tuesday's meeting, Coun. Rosemary Small introduced a lengthy notice of motion on the wireless metering devices. She wants to see BC Hydro: offer opt-out options to PoMo residents; provide assurances of privacy when it comes to data collection; and provide the city with the locations of all collector units and hubs, as well as data on radio frequency emissions exposure.

The motion was preceded by several clauses expressing concern over the health, privacy and security issues related to smart meters.

"I felt every one of those was important to people," Small said, adding she's been hearing from residents who are being contacted by BC Hydro about upcoming installation of smart meters — and they want to know how to stop them.

"Certainly there's a coalition against it," Small said, adding she's put a sign on her hydro meter stating that she doesn't want a smart meter. "But I think the city needs to get behind residents and say we're not happy with what's going on, that we're not being given the option of opting out."

BC Hydro has installed more than 1.1 million smart meters throughout the province. The new devices are touted as a way to restore power more quickly during an outage, keep rates low by increasing efficiency and reducing wasted electricity and giving residents a way to conserve energy.

Critics, however, cite concerns relating to the health risks from radiation, privacy risks of the wireless signals and the potential for bills to increase.

Small noted that BC Hydro hasn't explained what it plans to do with the information it gathers, nor has it "ensured us that they won't be passing it on to a third party."

A BC Hydro representative said smart meters are due to be installed in the Tri-Cities later this month or in early July.

Small's motion will be discussed at the June 26 council meeting.


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