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

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

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
Drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250-hectare wildfire in B.C.

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read