Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Proud Members of Team Tinfoil

The residents of Pacific Gardens are proud members of Team Tinfoil - a term coined by a reporter to describe those beleaguered B.C. citizens opposed to the installation of Smart Meters in their homes.

We are among the 85,000 B.C. Hydro customers who have refused the meters, despite threats, bullying, and scare tactics from the Corix installer who first visited us a little more than a year ago.

If you follow the link below, you can read the news story about our first encounter with Corix (you'll also see a picture of Susana, looking uncharacteristically glum, standing in front of our current meters be-decked with refusal letters).

Nanaimo News Bulletin - Nanaimo co-housing residents block smart-meter installation

I am personally not convinced of all the claims for health risks cited by opponents of the meters, and as a green-weenie, I think it's a good idea for people to pay more for hydro if its gets them to reduce their electricity usage.

But I am concerned about the evidence in peer-reviewed medical journals that there are negative effects on brain development in children from electromagnetic devices. And that's good enough for me, especially as we have several young children living here.

Why not exercise the precautionary principle in the light of this evidence?  And why not take these concerns seriously, instead of castigating those who rightly want to have a choice in the matter?

So, when the Smart Meter installer showed up again at the entrance of Pacific Gardens last week, he was politely turned away by one of our young mothers, and the Tinfoil Team once again swung into action.

We wrote another refusal letter, which we sent to B.C. Hydro, Corix, the leaders of all three political parties, the chief medical officer of health, the health  and energy ministers, and the opposition critics for health and energy.

We also developed a plan for alerting residents if the installer came again, and determined what our best response would be. Team Tinfoil was absolutely determined that these meters would not be installed in our building.

However, it now seems that the B.C. government has bowed to public pressure.  The Minister of Energy has issued a statement saying that home-owners will not be forced to accept Smart Meters.

B.C. Hydro also issued a statement saying it will not install Smart Meters without the customer's permission, but this is just for now, as Hydro wants to take extra time "to work with customers who still have concerns."

So the Tinfoil Team at Pacific Gardens will not be disbanded yet, and when B.C. Hydro comes to call, we will be ready with our questions.


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