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

First Nations also worried about northern B.C. natural gas pipeline challenge

They already have contracts lined up should project proceed

Vopak expects 240 liquid gas-by-rail cars per day

North Coast residents can learn more about the Ridley Island-based project at the open houses

Ice Demons get an early start on the ice

The players are determined to score wins in this year’s league.

Focus groups important for age-friendly policy

These results will drive the age-friendly action plan

Is it a car? Is it a buggy? Yes, all of the above

Riverbank cleanup nets some odd items

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Tempering the B.C. cannabis legalization ‘gold rush’

Retail selling of marijuana offers potential business opportunities and pitfalls

B.C. cancer patient’s case exposes gaps in care for homeless people: advocates

Terry Willis says he’s praying for a clean, safe place to live to undergo the cancer treatments he needs after he was denied chemotherapy because he lives in a Victoria homeless shelter.

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Salvage of grounded Haida Gwaii barge to begin as emergency command post closes

The barge and lodge broke away from their moorings in high winds on Sept. 8 and ran aground.

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Most Read