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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Langley Township lifts evacuation alert as flooding threat drops

People are still advised to avoid the Fraser River due to fast running water

Langley nurse wins yard makeover in contest for frontline workers

The free yardwork helped relieve some of the stress for a Willoughby nurse and mom

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read