Smart meter installer photographs a sign posted to refuse replacement of mechanical power meter

Human Rights Tribunal rejects smart meter complaint

Group claimed BC Hydro was discriminating against people with a disability, "electrohypersensitivity"

After losing in court and and before the B.C. Utilities Commission, a citizens’ group opposed to wireless electrical meters has been denied a hearing before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

The complaint was brought by a group called Citizens for Safe Technology Society (CSTS), which argued that “electrohypersensitivity” (EHS) is a disability.

“I have concluded that there is no reasonable prospect that the complainants will be able to establish that the electromagnetic frequency (EMF) exposure resulting from smart meters results in adverse health consequences,” wrote tribunal member Norman Trerise in the decision not to hold a full hearing.

CSTS submitted that they don’t have to prove this sensitivity exists, because the human rights tribunal has accepted “subjective self-reporting of symptoms” in a previous human rights case involving a Lower Mainland bus driver.

CSTS also cited a Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal decision that stated “a person may be ill even though there is little or no objective evidence to prove it.”

BC Hydro said a series of doctors’ notes supplied by the complainants don’t prove the condition is real, because they appear to be based “entirely on the self-diagnosis of the individual complainants.”

BC Hydro has argued that the exposure from periodic wireless meter signals to send electricity consumption data to collection stations is similar to exposure to radio station signals.

BC Hydro said the Human Rights Tribunal doesn’t have jurisdiction over the wireless grid project, and the B.C. Utilities Commission does. The B.C. government’s 2010 Clean Energy Act mandated the wireless grid upgrade, and exempted it from review by the BCUC.

But in 2013 the BCUC reviewed the wireless grid project by FortisBC in the Okanagan and Kootenay region, and rejected CSTS submissions that the technology was a health hazard.

CSTS argued that BC Hydro’s offer to relocate the wireless meter to another part of the property was not sufficient relief, and charging meter reading fees to those who want to keep their mechanical meter or have a digital meter with the wireless transmission turned off is discrimination against people with a disability.

Just Posted

Column: Snow reveals the character of a community

For every internet complainer there were two more willing to help a neighbour

Car fire destroys vehicle in Chemainus

Traffic rerouted for a short time at the Henry Road roundabout

Ladysmith walks to help others on the Coldest Night of the Year

Community asked to step up for the local hungry and homeless

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read