BC Greens say Smart Meter health concerns demand action

VICTORIA, BC –– All jurisdictions imposing blanket implementation of wireless
Smart Meters face citizen backlash. Many have placed a moratorium on the
installation of wireless Smart Meters pending further study. Others have
cancelled their programs.

BC Greens support development of a Smart Grid, of which Smart Meters may be one
small and expensive component. If we are to encourage conservation, many other
things need to be in place long before a decision is made to purchase a different
kind of meter. The type of meter should be the last part of the plan and only
implemented if they are proven cost effective and safe.

BC Greens believe feed-in-tariffs, time of day pricing, incentives for conservation,
programs and incentives to make homes and buildings more energy efficient, and
a distributed grid must all be in place before switching meters. A cost benefit
analysis needs to be presented to the public. BC should not follow Ontario down
the road to higher costs and no net benefit. As well, wireless technology poses
a potential risk to health and the environment and further research that is
independent of industry funding is needed.

Prior to implementation, all aspects of the plan must be placed before the
regulator. The Clean Energy Act has done the opposite and removed the ability
of the BC Utilities Commission to provide oversight on behalf of the citizens
of BC.

Magda Havas is Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at
Trent University where she teaches and does research on the biological effects
of environmental contaminants. Since the 1990s, Dr. Havas’s research has focused
on the biological effects of electromagnetic pollution including radio
frequency radiation, electromagnetic fields, dirty electricity, and ground
current. She works with diabetics as well as with individuals who have multiple
sclerosis, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and those who are electrically

Dr. Havas joins Jane Sterk, leader of the Green Party of BC in calling for
cancelling implementation of the wireless smart meters. Elizabeth May, leader
of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich supports this change.

“The smart meter program is another example of unsupportable assumptions based
on industry lobbying rather than best practices,” says Jane Sterk, leader of
the Green Party of BC. “Greens believe all public policy should be evidence
based and founded in the Precautionary Principle.

“BC Hydro’s wireless smart meter program violates that principle. There are
environmental, privacy and security concerns as well as the potential for
adverse health risks. This is an issue that hits at the heart of democratic
rights. Individuals have no ability to opt out of a program that may impact the
health of those with electro-magnetic sensitivity,” says Sterk.

“I have great concern regarding the current levels of microwave radiation in
North America,” says Dr. Magda Havas. “Instead of promoting wireless
technology, we should be promoting wired technology and reserving wireless for
situations where wired in not possible.

“Shortly after X-rays were discovered, they were used in shoe stores to
determine shoe-size for young children. Fortunately, we recognized that X-rays
were harmful and we restricted their use to essential medical diagnoses.

“We need to recognize that microwaves are also harmful and we cannot use this
technology in a frivolous manner. With more frequencies being used, with the
levels of radiation increasing, and with so little research on the long-term,
low-level effects of this technology we are creating a potential time bomb. If
smart meters are placed on every home, they will increase our exposure to radio
frequency radiation–a potential human carcinogen–and this is both unwise and
unsafe,” says Havas.

"The Green Party of Canada, through a resolution of our entire membership,
has called for the current inadequate Health Canada regulations to be upgraded
to the equivalent of the EMF regulations in Germany,” says Elizabeth May,
leader of the Green Party of Canada. “We are entirely too complacent about the
growing evidence of health effects from wireless technology."

The Green Party of BC is calling on the provincial government to stop BC
Hydro's implementation of wireless smart meters, to call formal public hearings
on the program, to gather third party independent data on the health effects of
wireless, and to put all aspects of the process under the purview of the BC
Utilities Commission.

“BC Greens believe people should have a right to feel safe and secure in their
own homes,” says Sterk. “As it stands now, people cannot opt-out of the smart
meter program.

“We favour a well formulated long-term plan with conservation as the driver.
Most conservation goals could be achieved without replacing any meters. If it
is determined we need new meters, people still need to be able to say no. With
pricing and incentives and technology that has been demonstrated to be safe,
opting in can be made the more attractive option,” concludes Sterk.



Jane Sterk, leader Green Party of BC

(250) 507-1715


GPBC office

(250) 590-4537


Dr. Magda Havas

(250) 478-7892 or

(705) 748-1011 ex
7882 after Thursday


Elizabeth May, O.C., M.P., leader Green Party of Canada

(250) 657-2000