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Windsong residents say 'no, thanks' to smart meters

Clockwise from top Greg McIntyre, Susan McFee, Evan McFee, and Valerie McIntyre are all residents of Windsong Co-housing development in Walnut Grove. They are opposed to B.C. Hydro’s plan to install smart meters in the complex and have posted signage throughout the building indicating they want no part of the project. - Brenda ANDERSON/Langley Times
Clockwise from top Greg McIntyre, Susan McFee, Evan McFee, and Valerie McIntyre are all residents of Windsong Co-housing development in Walnut Grove. They are opposed to B.C. Hydro’s plan to install smart meters in the complex and have posted signage throughout the building indicating they want no part of the project.
— image credit: Brenda ANDERSON/Langley Times

A standoff that was looming between residents of WindSong Co-housing and B.C. Hydro has been averted — for now.

Installers who arrived on Monday and Wednesday were politely turned away by residents of WindSong, a community of 34 townhomes nestled in six acres of forested land and gardens in Walnut Grove.

The concern of the 100 WindSong residents is that smart meters emit electromagnetic radiation which will impact on their health. The health repercussions, they say, have been well documented, and homeowners in B.C. have not consented to smart meters being installed on their property.

B.C. has hired Corix Utilities to replace old meters with the smart meters, and on Dec. 5, a Corix installer was redirected to another location when WindSong residents protested his presence there.

After a phone call from Hydro, WindSong residents learned that interference with Hydro staff and the installation process could lead to their service being disconnected.

“WindSong residents want Corix Utilities and BC Hydro to understand that no means no,” said WindSong resident Susan McFee.

She said that WindSong strata council has sent letters to Hydro and Corix and posted refusal signs.

“And we will tell them again in person that the community will not allow them to replace their analog meters with something that people are rejecting all over the province in growing numbers and all over the world,” McFee said.

“If necessary, WindSong will give BC Hydro and Corix Utilities the name and address of the lawyer working with Citizens For Safe Technology, who will talk to them if they want to pursue this matter further.”

WindSong residents want to keep their analog meters until a future metering option is proven to be safe for families, and safe for their homes and pocketbooks too.

Una St. Clair of the Langley-based Citizens for Safe Technology said that WindSong residents have every right to protect their democratic and human rights by refusing the wireless smart meters.

“Reasonable people who take the time to review this massive Liberal boondoggle will find out very quickly that the Langley Township vote for a moratorium on July 25 is well founded for reasons of health, privacy, costs, security and safety,” St. Clair said.

“Langley Township led the movement around the province to say ‘No’ to wireless smart meters,” she said, adding that to date  26 others have followed suit.

She noted that at its September convention, the Union of BC Municipalities called for a moratorium on the meters.

Premier Christy Clark and Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman, who is responsible for BC Hydro, told the UBCM mayors and council members that they would “ignore” their vote, a vote which represents the people of British Columbia, St. Clair said.

A petition with more than 15,000 signatures was presented in the Legislature on Nov. 24. Thousands of residents across the province want the installation program halted. They also want the oversight for the $1 billion expenditure to go through the B.C. Utilities Commission review and public hearings.

An Initiative Petition has been started, following the lines of the successful anti-HST petition.

St. Clair said that the meters are not CSA or UL approved, and are being installed by unlicensed people who are not electricians, which could void insurance if fires resulted from faulty installation.

She said that fires and meter explosions have occurred, damaging houses and appliances.

St. Clair added that despite the statements by Hydro that it is old wiring that is causing fires and explosions once the smart meters are installed, “qualified electricians are clearly explaining that fires are actually started by faulty installation of the meters themselves.

But the people end up holding the bag of problems, damaged homes without power, plus fried appliances and useless electrical equipment.”

People across the country have seen their bills double and triple once the meters are installed, without any recourse. They are being told that their appliances must be using more power, or their old meter was faulty.

St.  Clair said that California is now removing smart meters and replacing them with analogues for people who have experienced health problems since installation, most commonly headaches, insomnia, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and heart problems.

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