Letter: Class action sought vs BC Hydro’s smart meters

If [B.C. government] had remained true to its documented assurance, these court proceedings would not have been necessary…

To the editor:

Commencing December 7, 2015, the truth about BCHydro’s flagrant disregard of our Charter Rights will be presented to the Supreme Court of BC. The proceedings centre around the deployment of their microwave radiation (MWR)-emitting smart meter program.

The plaintiffs are applying for the judge’s approval and certification of their civil lawsuit against BCHydro as a Class Action, thus providing legal representation for all BCHydro customers who have been actively and knowingly denied their constitutional rights.

The plaintiffs’ position is that “there exists a reasonable basis for concern about health risk so as to give rise to a right of autonomy and free choice as to whether a smart meter is operational from one’s own dwelling.” Due to BCHydro’s actions, the plaintiffs experience loss of personal choice and loss of autonomy to decide for themselves whether a MWR emitting meter will operate at their respective dwellings or places of business.

This lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the following conduct by BCHydro:

a) Operation of a smart meter where a customer requests that there be no operation of a MWR emitting meter

b) Threatening or effecting a service refusal

c) Exacting payment from a customer of an opt-out fee in exchange for BCHydro abiding by the customer’s choice to be free from the installation/operation of a MWR emitting meter

d) Exacting payment from a customer of a failed installation fee related to BCHydro’s attendance to install a MWR emitting meter where installation is not carried out because of either an objection made by a customer or an obstruction.

Information and registration for the lawsuit can be accessed at:

http://www.citizensforsafetechnology.org/CLASS-ACTION-Lawsuit-PACKAGE,97,3617

 

For a basic life necessity such as electricity, where participation is not a choice, consumers must have the freedom to choose.

A ruling in the plaintiffs’ favour would have positive effects down the road for FortisBC customers as well.

On July 18, 2013, Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, made the following statement by way of press release announcing BC Hydro’s Meter Choices Program: “As we have said, nobody will be forced to take a smart meter. I believe that this is a fair and reasonable solution for all British Columbians.”

Mr. Bennett is reminded to stand by his words. If he had remained true to his documented assurance, these court proceedings would not have been necessary at all.

Hans Karow, Summerland