UBCM passes request for Smart Meter moratorium

The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) passed a request for a moratorium on BC Hydro's Smart Meters, Friday, September 30, with a vote 55-45.

  • Sep. 30, 2011 3:00 p.m.

BC Hydro's controversial Smart Meters.

The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) passed a request for a moratorium on BC Hydro’s Smart Meters, Friday, September 30.

Mesachie Lake anti Smart Meter advocate Mary Lowther received a phone call from CVRD Area F (Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls) director Ian Morrison shortly after the moratorium was voted on, to give her the good news.

“It was just passed 55-45, and that’s all Ian had time to tell me,” Lowther said.

Lowther is part of the group Citizens for Safe Technology; one of a few groups to take an anti-Smart Meter stance.

“I’m grateful! This is just the beginning. We’re not going to stop… We don’t want our children next to possible carcinogens,” she said.

The Town of Lake Cowichan also passed a moratorium on Smart Meters earlier this year, in response to a council meeting during which time Lowther expressed her, and others’, concerns about the proposed meters.

The wireless Smart Meters are believed to exude electromagnetic radiation comparable, or perhaps exceeding, cellular phones. There are additional privacy concerns, as well as layoffs that will come as a result of there no longer being a need for meter readers.

“We’re not going to stop until the meters aren’t installed,” Lowther said.

Lowther believes that BC Hydro having stated during the conference that they would install Smart Meters regardless of the UBCM’s decision may have aided in the municipalities voting in favour of the moratorium.

Special interest groups were unable to make anti Smart Meter presentations during the convention, though BC Hydro paid for a room for two days, to answer any questions elected officials may have had.

“They spent a lot of money professing the safety of the meters, and apparently it didn’t wash,” Lowther said.

Special interest groups were able to stand outside the area, where they spoke with elected officials, and handed out pamphlets.

“They spent hours out there, and continue to do so,” Lowther said.

The UBCM’s backing of the moratorium is significant, as the UBCM an organization with some provincial clout. It has served and represented the interests of local governments in BC since 1905, and will pass the moratorium resolution on to the provincial government for consideration.

The Gazette will follow up on the area’s elected officials with regard to what took place during this year’s UBCM Convention in Vancouver as they arrive back home; likely some time this weekend, as the convention is set to end today (Friday, September 30).

 

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