Rally against smart meters in South Slocan

Locals join in solidarity in nationwide rally against smart meters in south Slocan on Saturday, June 14. - Arthur Joyce
Locals join in solidarity in nationwide rally against smart meters in south Slocan on Saturday, June 14.
— image credit: Arthur Joyce

More than 50 people rallied in South Slocan on Saturday in support of a nationwide protest against the installation of the controversial smart meter, a new electrical meter that is replacing the existing ones in Fortis service areas starting in August.

West Kootenay federal MP, Alex Atamenenko and several town councillors from the region were among the crowd that gathered beside the Dam Inn, South Slocan junction of Highway 3A on Saturday, June 14.

Smart meters or A.M.I. (Advanced Meter Infrastructure) electric meters are part of a global grid system set to replace the analogue meters in Fortis areas.

“They are neither smart nor advanced,” said Daphne Fields, the Slocan rally organizer who worked in conjunction with Citizen’s for Safe Technology’s provincial efforts.

She claims they have been shown to create problems in many areas: health, privacy, security, safety — she said they can catch on fire — economics (causing whole countries, such as Germany to opt out) and she said customers' electricity bills skyrocket.

“In 2011 the World Health Organization classified radio-frequency radiation as a possible cause of cancer. We must now prompt our health agencies to act without delay by implementing the precautionary principle to reduce the significant health risk to the public in general, with special focus on protecting the health of our children and youth today and for future generations.

“It has been called the next pandemic,” said Fields. “As someone who has been severely affected myself, I do not doubt that this may indeed be what happens. This is therefore a red alert for our area.  Why, knowing what we know now, would we put, in the form of a smart meter, a microwave transmitting device on each and every one of our homes and businesses?  A device which cannot be turned off or unplugged and emits a pulsed radiation 24/7,” she asked.

Fortis customers can opt out  by choosing a radio-off option to receive an advanced meter with the radio transmissions disabled.

According to the Fortis BC website, “Advanced meters will operate well below the standards set by Health Canada in Safety Code 6 — the electromagnetic frequency guidelines. They operate around 900 MHz, which is similar to a household cordless phone and emit far less EMF than many of the common electronic devices we use every day in our homes, like microwaves or laptop computers. Advanced meters transmit for a total of about one minute a day.”

Field said many countries and smaller entities all over the planet have resisted this global grid which is profit, not science driven. “Here we have class action lawsuits working away.  Sadly, when the Supreme Court of Maine told the Utilities Commission in that state to "go back to the drawing board",  but the utilities company continued their roll out despite the law. This is a global health issue of huge proportions.”

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