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Richmond passes resolution on smart meters

Kelly Masterson, who has multiple sclerosis, lives in a Richmond townhouse attached to an electrical room that now contains 15 smart meters.   - Martin van den Hemel photo
Kelly Masterson, who has multiple sclerosis, lives in a Richmond townhouse attached to an electrical room that now contains 15 smart meters.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

City council unanimously approved a resolution Monday calling on the province to halt the installation of smart meters until questions around health, privacy and other concerns are answered.

Before the vote, civic politicians heard complaints about the new technology from a handful of residents at Monday night’s council meeting.

Donna Thomson told council she now has 24 smart meters attached to the outside wall of her condominium, “a few feet” from where she spends much of her time. Thomson said she’s worried about the wireless electronic emissions from the devices.

“I know I am not the only apartment dweller who is faced with extreme exposure...” said Thomson in her submission to council. “Remember, asbestos, at one time, was not seen as being carcinogenic.”

Kelly Masterson, who has multiple sclerosis, told council she is also worried about negative impacts smart meters could have on her health. Masterson lives in a Richmond townhouse attached to an electrical room that now contains 15 smart meters.

City council’s resolution also urges the province to give Hydro customers the ability to say no to a meter—whether or not one of the new wireless devices has already been installed.

Homeowners in Richmond are among the first in B.C. to have their analog meters replaced with the new technology.

BC Hydro maintains exposure to a smart meter’s radio frequency over 20 years is equivalent to exposure during a single 30-minute cellphone call. In a submission to the city, the Crown corporation also noted the meters are “a safe and cost effective way to modernize the electricity system” that will help keep rates low by reducing waste and other costs.

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