Smart meter debate

Corix, contracted by BC Hydro, are already in Golden installing smart meters on our homes.

The smart meters have arrived.

Corix, contracted by BC Hydro, are already in Golden installing smart meters on our homes.

It may or may not surprise you to know that these Corix workers have met some pretty fierce resistance in our community.

The smart meter debate has been raging  in the province for a year now, and Golden is no exception.

In fact, Golden actually has one of the strongest anti smart meter contingents in B.C.

I have heard through the grapevine that BC Hydro, Corix and politicians have heard more smart meter resistance in Golden than in any other community up and down the Columbia Valley.

For whatever reason, the people of Golden have decided that this is a fight worth fighting. They even got some support this week when council decided to send BC Hydro a letter requesting “opt out options” for Golden residents.

I fear that this letter will do little to sway BC Hydro, as more than 55 other B.C. communities have already done the same.

I support the people who are refusing smart meter installations, but it is not because I share in their concerns. And man do they have a lot of concerns.

Some of the common fears that I am hearing from people (some substantiated, some not) are:

-smart meters emit dangerous frequencies and radiation that could be harmful to our bodies

-smart meters are an invasion of our privacy

-smart meters have caught on fire

-power bills will increase dramatically after smart meters are installed

After hearing arguments from both sides, I am not convinced that any of these concerns are realistic (but I may be wrong).

The reason that I support those in the anti smart meter fight is because in a free and democratic society I do not believe anything should be forced on us.

I don’t have a problem with BC Hydro installing a smart meter on my apartment building, which I believe has already been done. I own a smart phone and a microwave. But I, as a consumer, chose to purchase those items.

There are a lot of people who have chosen to live in a radiation-free environment. They chose not to own a cell phone or a microwave (which emit similar frequencies as the new smart meters). And they have a right to say no to smart meters as well.

BC Hydro has taken away their ability to choose.

In the Town Council meeting this past week, Coun. Caleb Moss said that even though BC Hydro is technically a business, he believes they should be held to certain higher standards.

BC Hydro was granted a monopoly, which means that we as power consumers do not have other options. I hate to quote a movie (that’s usually Darryl’s thing), but with great power comes great responsibility.

We as a province have given BC Hydro a lot of power. And in return we deserve better treatment.