LETTERS: Get smart on meters

Why did the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen wait two years before speaking up on smart meters?

There have been many letters and comments lately regarding the smart meters that Fortis are installing, almost all citing health and safety concerns.

The Fortis letter (Western News, June 19, Disagree with column) at least gave some facts regarding the smart meter, however when such a letter comes from the supplier of the meters it is sometime viewed with disdain. I would like to fully endorse the Fortis comments.

I firmly believe that prolonged exposure to electro magnetic radiation (EMR) is harmful to our health. The level at which EMR becomes a problem is disputed by the two camps. On one hand we have Health Canada and on the other the levels recommended in the 2007 Bioinitiative report. Unfortunately Health Canada’s levels are over 1,000 times, or more, higher than that of the Bioinitiative report. The problem is that Health Canada refuses to consider the non-thermal effects of EMR as does the WHO. Having said that, the fear that has been expressed with regard to the smart meter is in my view misplaced.

The smart meter has two transmitters, one to transmit information to Fortis the other to talk to any smart appliances in the home. The latter is switched off, so to speak, when the meter is installed and can only be turned on with the home owner’s consent, and assuming they have smart appliances for it to talk to.

The other transmitter which gives information to Fortis does emit radio frequency (RF) power but in short bursts and at a relatively low-level when measured over the day. In the transcripts of the hearings at the BCUC the level of the smart meter was equal to that recommended by the 2007 Bioinitiative report and that is if you were standing in front of the meter, the actual amount of EMR entering the home is at least 1/10th of that figure. To put that in context WiFi found everywhere can be up to 100 times greater than the smart meter, a cellphone anything from 300 to 2,000 or more especially as it is in close proximity to the body. If you have a cordless telephone they are even worse.

As for a fire risk there have been fires as a result of some smart meter installation, the most notable being in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Portland, Oregon, where installation was stopped and the meters removed. All these incidents used Sensus meters not the Itron that Fortis are installing.  To label a meter a fire risk just because a different brand has problems is like saying we should not buy a car just because GM had problems; it makes no sense.

In addition, the Fire Chiefs of B.C. have wholeheartedly supported the installation of these meters. One letter said they should not install meters without consultation with the public, all I can say is where have you been? Fortis began their smart meter application in 2012 which carried over to the hearings with the BCUC in May 2013; the hearings included three community input sessions which were held in Trail, Osoyoos and Kelowna; there are 14 volumes of the transcripts of the community meetings and the hearings on the BCUC website.

The question I have for the RDOS director for area D and his expert advisor or anyone else that had significant concerns, why did they not attend the BCUC sessions as an intervener or interested party? And why wait two years before speaking up?

Colin Harlingten

Penticton

 

 

Just Posted

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read