Zalm joins Hydro conspiracy club

Bill Vander Zalm has expanded on his loopy conspiracy theory about EU world domination. Now it includes smart meters.

Bill Vander Zalm and his NDP sidekick Bill Tieleman work together on the anti-HST campaign. Now Vander Zalm and the NDP are cooperating on a factually challenged campaign against wireless hydro meters.

VICTORIA – The smart meter installation van arrived on my street last week, as BC Hydro’s smart grid project heads toward the halfway mark.

This system will not only detect outages, electricity loss and theft, it enables a voluntary time-of-use system where users can get a discount by shifting consumption to low-peak times. You could even set up wind or solar generation that the meter would record and subtract from your bill.

But apparently no one wants to talk about that. Black Press papers continue to run letters with exaggerated or false claims that stoke baseless fear of radio waves.

Where is this coming from? I’m grateful to the anonymous smart-meter foe who started sending me updates from “Citizens for Safe Technology,” a loose collection of U.S. and Canadian activists that claims to include doctors, lawyers and other professionals.

Not much is professional about the Canadian content on their website.

A video starts with a juvenile union parody showing executives plotting to sell BC Hydro to General Electric. Then it moves to an apparently serious interview with Bill Vander Zalm, who expands on his earlier conspiracy theory about the harmonized sales tax being part of a European Union plot for world domination.

Vander Zalm asserts that smart meters and appliances create such a powerful surveillance network, “they’ll even know what you’re cooking.”

There are those who claim smart meters can tell what channel your TV is on, but this is the first I’ve heard about them detecting whether you’re having eggs or oatmeal for breakfast.

And who might “they” be?

“The big picture is of course that we’re moving to globalization,” Vander Zalm intones. “Eventually we’ll be governed out of Brussels, Belgium or someplace like that. And this all ties into that. They can monitor what’s happening anywhere in the world. It’s Big Brother. We’ll be totally controlled.”

He stops just short of what I’ll call the Full Tinfoil, a belief that these radio waves control minds directly.

Wildlife artist Robert Bateman also makes an ass of himself in a brief video, where he describes hiring someone to come in and detect “hot” wiring in his Saltspring Island mansion. (A surprising number of self-appointed smart meter experts sell measuring and “shielding” services.)

A reader sent me a local newspaper commentary by Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall, basically a vague summary of NDP talking points about smart meters being too expensive and a possible health threat.

This is interesting, because the City of Nelson owns its own power utility, which started installing wireless meters in 2004. They finished last year, with no protest.

I asked Mungall why. She was on the city council that chose a different model, a “drive-by” meter. They broadcast readings every 15 seconds and still need meter readers, who no longer have get out of their trucks.

BC Hydro’s meters signal only three or four times a day, but one of the often-repeated false claims about them is that they secretly transmit much more often with some sort of damaging energy pulses. And yet these granola-loving West Kootenay folks cheerfully endure a 24/7 bombardment of what are essentially brief cell phone signals.

Mungall said Nelson council specifically rejected a smart grid system, “because of the cost.” Somehow retaining meter readers saves the city money.

She noted that rural parts of her constituency are serviced by BC Hydro, and some people are very concerned.

I’ll bet they are. Not just in West Kootenay, but a few other remote areas known for production of B.C.’s number one cash crop.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com

Just Posted

Snowfall warning for Kootenay and Paulson passes

Up to 30 cm expected in mountain passes Saturday and Sunday.

Music at the Hangar

On Sunday November 17 at 2 p.m., the Golden Seniors Centre will… Continue reading

Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

This is the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

Kicking Horse Canyon Project Phase 4 team presents highway closure plan to Golden

By Keri Sculland With files from The Golden Star Golden residents had… Continue reading

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperate breeding program

B.C.’s ‘Dr. Frankenstein of guns’ back in jail yet again for trafficking in Glock parts

Bradley Michael Friesen has parole revoked for allegedly importing gun parts yet again

B.C. woman suing after laser hair removal leaves her with ‘severe’ burns, scarring

Nadeau felt ‘far more pain’ than usual during the treatment

$2.9 million judgment in B.C. blueberry farm sabotage lawsuit

The new owners saw most of their farm ruined just as they took possession

B.C. to more than double sales tax on vaping products

Tax up from 7 to 20 per cent, tobacco tax up two cents

29 B.C. students in Hong Kong amid tense protests, university siege

Eight UVic and 21 UBC students still in Hong Kong

‘Midget’ no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Student tells B.C. Supreme Court she wasn’t allowed to leave Indigenous smudging ceremony

Girl cross-examined Monday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Tuesday

Most Read