Smart meters program needs public debate

Now that the Harmonized Sales Tax Referendum (HST) ballots are in the hands of Elections BC and we await the results with white-knuckle anticipation, we will all be able to draw a long breath and relax for awhile

Now that the Harmonized Sales Tax Referendum (HST) ballots are in the hands of Elections BC and we await the results with white-knuckle anticipation, we will all be able to draw a long breath and relax for awhile.

While some of us will enjoy the real beginning of summer, other British Columbians will be turning their attention to the province’s next hot-button issue.

That would be BC Hydro’s Smart Meters Program.

It’s far from being a brand new tussle between the Crown corporation and the naysayers who claim wireless smart meters are bad for us for a number of reasons.

However, this issue has flown under the radar in the politically charged past two years that saw the HST get rammed down the throats of British Columbians by an arrogant B.C. Liberal government led by former premier Gordon Campbell. It resulted in a revolt by the B.C. taxpayers that forced the government to hold a vote that eventually led to the above-mentioned referendum.

Ultimately, it caused the resignation of the government and opposition party leaders and the subsequent new leadership elections.

Now, the smart meters have jumped out onto centre stage without the general public having much of a say in the process.

We haven’t had much information about the meters and their affects – real or suspected – on the health of human beings and the environment, the invasion on our privacy (real or perceived) and, most importantly, how deep into our pockets this government is going to reach to snatch what little coinage we may have left.

While BC Hydro is now running around the province with its dog- and-pony show, talking about how great the wireless smart meters are and putting down the naysayers, some folks are calling for a moratorium, so people can study the meters and their affect on the socioeconomic well being of all British Columbians.

Perhaps the naysayers are being unduly skeptical about the meters and their necessity and their safety, but the great unwashed have heard that tinge of arrogance before and they’re not quite as naive as they once were.

Perhaps there is need for education, debate and public input before something else is shoved down our throats.

Ken Alexander 

100 Mile Free Press