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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plane crashes into Nelson supermarket parking lot

Pilot and passenger have minor injuries

Phase three presents new opportunities for Kootenay tourism

Message from MLA Michelle Mungall and MLA Katrine Conroy

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

RDKB to spend $5,000 to review 2020 freshet response

The province is also kicking in $5,000 for the review of flood protection rollout and communications

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Most Read