BC Hydro’s ‘Smart’ Meters: Confronting Corix

 
BC Hydro’s ‘Smart’ Meters: Confronting Corix
 
By
 
Arthur Topham
 
November 18, 2011
 
Just how smart is BC Hydro? As smart as the so-called “Smart Meter” that they’ve undertaken to install on every residential, industrial and governmental building throughout the province of B.C.?
 
I’ve been aware of their plans and have been following the controversy that has been building from day one regarding the number of legitimate concerns that the people of British Columbia have voicing: health concerns; privacy concerns; and the hidden costs that inevitably show up after the system has been put in place and the consumer realizes that their hydro bill continues to skyrocket as it has ever since the Liberal government under former leader Gordon Campbell, began selling off the once pride and joy of B.C. to foreign interests  in the Liberal’s bid to privatize anything and everything that once benefitted the people of the province.
 
The dismantling of one of our most prized and lucrative Crown corporations is a story for another time. What I want to share in this article is my own experience thus far with how the Liberal government and BC Hydro are doing their damnedest to have their ‘Smart’ Meters installed as quickly as possiby and before the uninformed electorate realize exactly what has happened to them.
 
About a week ago in the early morning while upstairs in my office working I heard a vehicle coming up my driveway. I live in the small village of Cottonwood along the Barkerville Hwy approximately 26 km east of Quesnel, B.C. When I glanced out the window I could see that it was a pickup truck that I didn’t recognize and so I quickly went downstairs and out the front door. By the time I reached the doorway a man had turned his truck around and was standing behind it. As I walked out on the porch I could tell that it wasn't the man from Glad. I knew immediately from what he held in his hand that it was the man from Corix!
 
 
I quickly spoke to him in a louder than normal voice telling him that he might as well stop right there as he wouldn’t be installing any ‘Smart’ Meters on the two buildings that now have perfectly functioning analog meters already in place. As I approached him he began his schpeal about how the new meters are perfectly safe and that they’ve been getting a lot of bad publicity by misinformed individuals and groups who really don’t know what they’re talking about.
 
I could see immediately that he had been well-versed in the correct responses to give to any householder who might have questions or concerns regarding these devices. On top of that (and this was likely the clincher as far as he was concerned) he then informed me that he had a “Physics Degree” and so indubitably what he was telling me must be the final, scientific proof and that whatever smoke had been blown into my ear about any dangers that might arise from these wireless contraptions was just that – smoke and disinformation designed to strike fear into the hearts and minds of the ignorant BC Hydro customers for no reason whatsoever.
 
 
Rob (Identification # 5F003 on the Corix rtag around his neck), a young, burley-looking and bearded man in his late 20s or early 30s then went on with his line about how he had a young family and certainly wouldn’t be installing anything in his home that might possibly endanger his children or his wife and himself. Having said that he immediately followed up with yet another of BC Hydro’s PR statements to the effect that, “Radio frequency signals from smart meters are much lower than the signal from common every day devices such as radios, baby monitors and even the spark plugs in your car.” The message being of course that the ‘Smart’ Meter obviously is safe, even for defenseless young children and babies.
 
What Rob didn’t add as further explanation were the additional facts that radios are only recievers and do not transmit radio frequency radiation like the ‘Smart’ Meters do. The same with the wireless baby monitors. They also radiate but unlike the ‘Smart’ Meter they can be turned off. The ‘Smart’ Meter on the other hand records and radiates tirelessly around the clock day in and day out.
 
Rob also forgot to tell me that on May 31, 2011 the World Health Organization had reclassified all emissions from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans and other life forms. I guess his bosses forgot to include that aspect of his line when he attended his indocrination classes.
 
After listening to his pat replies to my own concerns I reinterated what I had initially told him when I emerged from my home, “I won’t have these wireless meters attached to any of my property.”
 
At that point I think Rob realized that his electrifying attempts at diplomatic persuasion were futile and so he civily said to me that he would honour my request but further added that regardless of what I wanted BC Hydro would eventually come and install the meters regardless of how I felt about the whole issue.
 
We then politely discussed the issue further and he told me that if he came to any residence and saw a sign hanging on the meter stating that the property holder did not want a ‘Smart’ Meter installed that he would not install one whether they were home at the time or not. That remark I felt was the only endearing aspect of the conversation thus far. After this Rob took his ‘Smart’ Meter and got in his pickup and drove off. I returned to my office prepared for a second confrontation with Hydro sometime in the near future.
 
. . .This morning, on Friday, November 18, 2011 I listened to a phone message on my home phone. It was a representative from Corix corporation calling to inform me that they hadn’t installed Hydro’s ‘Smart’ Meter yet and would have to book a time to do so and could I call them back to make arrangements in this regard.
 
I called them back and after giving them my name and physical address and phone number the woman on the other end looked at my account and suddenly realized that I had actually refused to allow their installer to do his thing. Again, like her cohort in the field she commenced to inform me that BC Hydro was going to install the new meters everywhere in the province and that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. The meter was the property of BC Hydro and they had the legal right to place it on my wall rather I wished it or otherwise. I immediately countered her somewhat arrogant tirade with one of my own and told her in no uncertaint terms that I didn’t give a hoot whether or not BC Hydro owned the meters and thought they could do whatever they wanted. It was my home, my property and my health and privacy that was of primary concern to me and regardless of what BC Hydro wanted they WERE NOT GOING TO INSTALL ANY ‘SMART’ METERS ON MY PLACES OF RESIDENCE!
 
Case closed. She put me on hold for a few minutes while she either confired with her supervisors or searched for additional information and I listend to the soothing sounds of the elevator music as it softy radiated forth from my phone.
 
When she returned she informed me that her office would be notifying BC Hydro that I was still refusing to bow to their ultimatum and that Corix corp was basically washing their hands of it and BC Hydro would now take over. When I specifically asked her point blank whether or not any more Corix employees might be sneaking in on my property when I wasn’t home and installing these meters she answered somewhat emphatically that no, Corix would not be dealing with me any further on this matter. She further added that she was not aware of what BC Hydro’s policies were with respect to those who refused the meters but that Hydro would likely be in touch with me over the matter. She then told me to have a “nice day” and hung up.
 
Stay tuned folks for the next phase of this power play by BC Hydro to ram their ‘Smart’ Meters down the throats of BC residents regardless of an individual’s concerns. I will continue to monitor and meter their response.
 
(To be continued….)