Victoria resident Sharon Noble protests at a demonstration against smart meters in downtown Vancouver.

B.C.’s high court unplugs smart meter appeal

Ruling leaves human rights complaint based on electromagnetic sensitivity still to be heard

Opponents of B.C. Hydro’s smart meters have lost a legal challenge against the nearly complete province-wide installation of the wireless devices.

The B.C. Court of Appeal refused to consider an appeal by Andrea Collins and Citizens for Safe Technology (CST) in a written ruling released Nov. 13.

The smart meter opposition group had hoped to halt the ongoing rollout by getting the court to rule that the program did not have a required certificate from the B.C. Utilities Commission and that the province’s exemption from that requirement wasn’t legal.

The utilities commission had previously rejected the claims but Collins and CST tried appealing it to B.C.’s top court.

The court found no substantive grounds to hear a full appeal.

The defeat leaves smart meter opponents hoping the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal will uphold their complaint – to be heard in the new year – that the mandatory installation of wireless meters discriminates against residents who claim to suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

“Hopefully the human rights tribunal will recognize B.C. Hydro is coming between patients and their doctors and recognize that electro-sensitivity is a growing concern around the world,” said Victoria smart meter activist Sharon Noble.

Hydro contractors have already installed more than 95 per cent of the 1.7 million new smart meters in virtually all of B.C. except the Gulf Islands.

But Noble said she believes there are still many holdouts and added the opposition won’t give up – even if B.C.’s smart grid is completed.

“Just because it’s in doesn’t mean it’s right,” she said. “This is a major problem. It’s not going to go away just because Hydro has finished their installation.”

Noble said she and many other opponents will go off the grid before they accept smart meters in their homes and said they will keep fighting for Hydro customers to have the option to have a wired meter instead.

New legal challenges are possible, she added.

Hydro maintains its wireless smart meter network is safe and public health authorities in B.C. have said they have no concerns.

Just Posted

Longtime pals release game backed by Kickstarter campaign

Zebulon: Galactic Control created by Abbotsford pair

Cannon tournament raises over $7,500

Annual touch rugby event a success in 2018

Agrifair attendance up 25 per cent from 2017, say organizers

New attractions, including RCMP Musical Ride, being credited for hike

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Police issue warning that 19-year-old poses ‘significant’ risk to the public

Varinderpal ‘VP’ Gill of Abbotsford involved in Lower Mainland gang conflict, police say

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

70 years after Babe Ruth’s death, fans still flock to grave

After Ruth died of throat cancer at age 53, tens of thousands of fans came to pay respects

Airbnb’s federal budget proposal tells Liberals, ‘we want to be regulated’

Submission says ‘we want to be regulated’ and asks the government to avoid forcing existing rules

Greens won’t run candidate in Burnaby South as ‘leader’s courtesy’ to Singh: May

Green Leader Elizabeth May says the decision is an extension of a ‘leader’s courtesy’

Missing B.C. hiker, dog found safe after 3-day search

Cranbrook hiker had been missing since Sunday, August 12, near Jumbo Pass.

UPDATED: B.C. RCMP dismantle Kinder Morgan protest camp

RCMP say they will enforce a court injunction today and remove Trans Mountain pipeline protesters who have been camped outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

5 to start your day

RCMP evict Kinder Morgan protest camp, two girls go on a nighttime bus adventure and more

Italy says death toll will mount in Genoa bridge collapse

Authorities worried about the stability of remaining large sections of a partially collapsed bridge evacuated about 630 people from nearby apartments.

Former CIA Director: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperate

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, John Brennan cites press reports and Trump’s own goading of Russia during the campaign to find Democrat Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Most Read