By on December 19, 2012

Dear Editor:

The letter to the editor in the Osoyoos Times by the FortisBC customer service director two weeks ago brought to me serious questions about this company servicing our region with electric energy.
I question how the project to install smart meters across the South Okanagan will cost. According to the company, it will cost $48 million and provide saving customers a net saving of $15 million.
I want to know who will pay for the project and in which time period it could bring the savings?
Being able to stop local power outages using smart meters in remote locations is a technical fallacy.
Further, the published letter indicates contradicting electro-magnetic field (EMF) levels by a study commissioned by Fortis.
Why did Fortis not prove such claims during recent public meetings where it was being discussed in detail and who is the author of this study?
It seems illogical that each smart meter transmitter, which must reach a centrally-located receiver, should be smaller than the ones we now use.
FortisBC management should study the experiences of residents of Salt Spring Island in B.C. when real levels were measured before statements like this are made to members of the public from this region.
The customer service department with FortisBC should realize that the majority of customers do not wish to have smart meters to be installed on their property. The customers who would not have them installed should receive a monthly rebate for the amount saved by opting out.
Unfortunately, because of the monopolistic situation, customers cannot use another service provider. For this monopolistic situation the utility is under supervision of the B.C. Utility Commission to protect interest of B.C. residents.
The company should understand that it is using the power of water, which belongs to all B.C. residents, to create the electric current and it does not pay royalties for the licence under the riparian law.
Basically, the majority of the customers do not wish for this smart meter project to proceed and they do not trust the company and hope the elected government in a democratic system will respect the majority of Canadians.

Ivo Tyl
Osoyoos  B.C.

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  1. Kell Petersen

    December 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Is the movement in opposition to Smart Meters based on rationality or is it based on voter ignorance and hysteria? And could this movement consequently further encourage what I call “democratic failure,” insofar as it might induce the government to make a decision that harms society, ignoring science and the government’s obligation to further the public interest?

    I am reminded of the way in which the government of British Columbia yielded to a similarly irrational protest against the merging of the BC Provincial Sales Tax (PST) with the Federal Value Added tax (GST). Efficiencies in allocation of public resources were thus compromised in that situation as well, for no rational public purpose. The consolidation, in that case, would have saved public money that could have better been spent on education, health care and other needs of society.

    With respect to the smart meter controversy, may I suggest that the opposition has no scientific basis for its opposition; rather it is based simply on beliefs or fears which have no science behind them. A democracy cannot function if its public officials or legislators bend to popular hysteria that has no basis in fact.

    Science is the only basis on which a government should act. To do otherwise is to succumb to the lynch mob and to forego the advice of the ancients who gave us our democratic underpinnings. Rather we should hearken to the wisdom of scholars and scientists who gave us a method for testing public policy ideas. They told us to follow practical experience, logic, and ethics in reaching prescriptions for public action and they warned of the dangers of action based simply on belief or prejudice.

    Certainly there can always be another point of view as to scientific matters, but without scrupulous testing of other theories, we must act based on the science we already know. To do otherwise is the perfect recipe for inaction and ultimately democratic failure.

    With respect to smart meters, there is no evidence whatever that they present any public health risk. Conversely, there is evidence that installation of smart meters will allow for more efficient use of the electrical grid and will reduce the costs to society of providing us necessary utilities. More efficient use of public resources will be the result, benefitting us, our heirs and generations yet unborn.

    I am not trying to make an apocalyptic case on behalf of smart meters. I am simply suggesting that the whole approach to public policy that is demonstrated through this discussion is one of rationally based lawmaking that when applied to the whole host of decisions that government makes, really does add up to a “hill of beans” and a brighter future for all of us.

    The wonderful thing about a democracy is that ignorant argument is protected and even valued in its own way. (But we are very foolish if we take it to heart.)

    Kelowna December 15, 2012

    Kell Petersen

  2. Denis Hull

    January 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I agree. The only thing these meters will give us is that they will no longer require someone to read them as it will be part of the data stream..

    Two: When the power fails it will by the absence of its response will advise the control center immediately when power has been cut and when it has been restored.

    If this Radio Frequency radiation is so harmful 99 % of our population who use cell fones would be in the cancer wards getting treatment for cancer of the ear or head or whatever. Has there been an increase ? I don’t know I bet you no significant bump in the S curve has been noticed.

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