By Rhonda Massad
The city of Laval joined many municipalities across Quebec when it passed a resolution opposing Hydro Smart meters during its latest city council meeting, March 10.
Within the resolution, Laval officially demanded that the Quebec Government protect its residents from the possibility of harm through exposure to the radio frequency radiation emitted by the new generation of wireless smart electricity meters that Hydro has installed.
The meters measure residents’ power consumption and then use the wireless signals to beam that information back to Hydro Québec. The provincial electricity monopoly says the new technology will make the province’s energy grid more efficient, sustainable and more responsive to outages.
Opponents such as Francine Lajoie and Veronique Riopel of Canadians for Safe Technology disagreed. They cited a wide-ranging list of concerns, including potential danger from radiation, electromagnetic pollution, and they privacy risk posed the wireless signals, as well as concerns that the meters will cause electricity bills to increase.
Laval city council insisted that Hydro provide proof to back up its safety claims. It has appointed Councillor Raynald Adams has been appointed to speak on behalf of the city on Smart meters.
“We’re concerned that there isn’t enough scientific evidence that states whether or not the meters are safe for residents,” Councilor Adams said. “We’re demanding proof that either confirms or denies the safety of the meters, especially for those who suffer from electromagnetic sensitivity.”
In the meantime, he said, “We insist that the meters be removed and replaced by non-emitting units in the event that resident can prove that the meter is causing health problems.”
According to Hydro, the meters emit radio frequencies in the 902-928 MHz band, the same one used by baby monitors.
Another bone of contention is that meters are being installed without citizens’ consent.
According to Councillor Adams, residents are coming home from work to discover that the new meters had been installed without their consent.
To avoid confusion, he would prefer that Hydro obtain prior written consent from its clients before installing smart meters.
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