The regional district has decided to back a Union of British Columbia Municipalities motion that called for a moratorium on smart meters until more research is shown.
The motion comes after information that the power supplier for the region district, FortisBC, had to put in an application to be authorized to install the meters.
Area A Director Ali Grieve brought the resolution to the board of directors meeting last Thursday in Trail.
“I was asked by area residents to bring the issue forward,” she said, adding that the resolution didn’t come directly from here, but from staff. Her suggestion was simply that they discuss it, she said. “Basically, what I’m hearing from constituents is that they want more information and I think that’s a fair request. That’s kind of the reason I wanted to bring it here for a discussion.”
Grieve asked for support to write a letter for more information before “something is imposed on us that we didn’t ask for.”
Marguerite Rotvold, Midway director, said the resolution was confusing in a way. “The UBCM resolution really came about because of the government mandating that B.C. Hydro proceed with that,” Rotvold said. “In this area, we’re under Fortis, and Fortis has to apply for that privilege to use smart meters.”
She argued that the UBCM resolution pertains to B.C. Hydro and not FortisBC.
Rotvold mentioned a resolution from the Lower Mainland that asked for the public to be able to choose whether or not to have the meters installed.
“There’s a lot of fear out there and I think this is attempting to address that,” Grieve added in.
Brian Taylor, Grand Forks director, spoke against the motion.
“I think it’s general hysteria,” Taylor said. “I think smart meters are part of doing good business, and just like in your municipalities you couldn’t opt out from the sewer or water service in your area, this is something that needs to be done in concert with the whole province, and I think, clearly, it’s hysterical.”
Nipper Kettle, Greenwood’s director, sided with Taylor on the issue.
“I’m going to vote against the motion as well,” Kettle said. “I think a lot of this is fear mongering by people that do not know the facts.”
Grieve shot back that, “Regardless if it’s hysteria fear, if it’s an unknown, let’s put the facts out there and share them with everybody.”
Although the meters are mandated by B.C. Hydro, the energy provider for the all the RDKB is FortisBC, which is in the process of applying to the Utilities Commission to be able to install the meters.
CAO John Maclean said that so far there hasn’t yet been a response back from the UBCM on the issue.
The UBCM called for a moratorium on the meters until further research was completed, back in September, though the provincial government went ahead with the mandated installation.