Resident claims smart meters anything but

One Penticton resident is keen to show the lack of intelligence behind smart meter decisions.

  • Jan. 12, 2012 5:00 a.m.

One Penticton resident is keen to show the lack of intelligence behind smart meter decisions.

Local resident Kevin Proteau made a presentation to Penticton council Monday night in the hopes of generating a discussion on the safety of smart meters.

To illustrate the point, Proteau called upon the expertise of Curtis Bennett, a journeyman electrician and engineering technologist who operates the Kelowna-based Thermographics electrical consulting company that he said conducts work for government agencies including the military and forestry.

Bennett told council that Sec. 6 of Canada’s Safety Code is designed to limit human exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic energy in the range between three and 300 gigahertz.

He alleged that the mechanism linking the frequencies to adverse health is missing, which can heat tissue up by 63 per cent within six minutes.

“The last thing we want to do is stimulate the tissues and heat people up,” he said, alleging Health Canada did not follow recommendations to review how wifi and smart meters violate Safety Code 6.

At the end of the presentation, Proteau asked council for a moratorium on the installation of the smart meters, and that the city donate space in the South Okanagan Events Centre to allow for a full information session featuring B.C. Hydro, Fortis and others interested in the impacts of smart meter technology.

Mayor Dan Ashton said the corporate office would touch base with Proteau to discuss potential meeting locations, which may not include the events centre.

Coun. Garry Litke reminded Proteau that Penticton representatives at the Union of B.C. Municipalities AGM last fall already voted in support of a motion for a moratorium on smart meter installation.

“I’m certainly in favour of more information,” he said, adding that presentations from B.C. Hydro on the issue are compelling. “Their information largely debunks the things you’ve just said.”

Coun. Wes Hopkin touched on one of Bennett’s earlier points about scientific studies conducted on the frequencies heating skin, suggesting he include the “peer-reviewed research” as part of the information to be presented during the proposed open house.

Bennett replied that the “peer review is called electricity,” going on to describe how the frequencies could treat people “like a hunk of meat in a microwave.”

“I was talking about peer-reviewed research, pieces of evidence that appears in a journal,” Hopkin said.

“If you look at Safety Code 6, you’re not given the electrical properties. … That’s the controversy,” he said.

Ashton added that the city would remain “with the status quo” for now, as Penticton is installing a somewhat different technology with ARM devices.