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Kelowna  

Smart meter debate mixed

BC Hydro’s controversial smart meter program has been sparking debate in British Columbia since they were first introduced in the summer of 2011.

A recent Castanet poll and story on the subject has stirred up the debate again.

The poll asked if readers are concerned about smart meters. It was a close call with 47.19 per cent voting “Yes, don’t want one” and 42.77 per cent voting “No, already got one.” 10.04 per cent voted “Don’t care.”

The comment sections of both pages were equally divisive.

“The smart meters should be renamed 'stupid meters,’” wrote ‘monika.’ “It's a good thing that the Kelowna hospital has increased the number of beds in their cancer section; they will have to deal with a lot more patients in a few years.”

Many readers vehemently opposed Fortis BC’s assertion that science was on their side when it came to the meters.

“Science is NOT on their side,” wrote Roger VanDeventer. “There is a lot of evidence already gathered to say that RF (Radio Frequency) is implicated in changes to DNA.”

Norm Hutton wrote that he wasn’t impressed by Fortis BC’s reasons for the needed changes, which were the “benefits of fewer bill estimates, billing date choice, and better response to outages.

“A poor sales pitch at best,” he wrote.

Devorah Ticha pointed out that Saskatchewan has banned the use of these meters due to their risk of fire hazard.

Some readers took the opposite stance and viewed those who are opposed to the smart meters as uneducated or “paranoid.”

“Health agencies – including Health Canada, the World Health Organization, and B.C.’s provincial health officer – say advanced meters are not harmful,” wrote ‘DOUBTING THOMAS’

Wes backed him up, writing, “The regulations are very strict on EM (electromagnetic) emitters, the smart meters pass every safety check possible. Any paranoia following that is quite unfounded.”

Despite the mixed reviews of smart meters in the Okanagan, Fortis plans to install another 24,000 meters in the Southern Interior by early October.

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