Montrose council backs moratorium on smart meters

On May 22 Montrose council carried a motion supporting a moratorium on the installation of smart meters in the community.

Smart meters won’t be installed on homes in Montrose if the village’s council has any input in the matter.

On May 22 in its regular council meeting, village council carried a motion supporting a moratorium on the installation of smart meters in the community.

Mario Como is a concerned resident of Montrose who partnered with the Kootenay chapter of Citizens for Safe Technology to raise concerns about the issues of smart meters.

Como attended a village meeting two months ago and expressed concerns about the council’s delayed response to his request to accept a moratorium on smart meters.

“Mayor (Joe) Danchuk postponed it,” said Como, “but postponing it is like putting the cart in front of the horse.”

Councillor Mary Gay put the motion forward and it was seconded by Coun. Cindy Cook, who stipulated she also wanted to support B.C. Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko’s presentation to Parliament to lower Safety Code 6 in regards to radio frequency.

Safety Code 6 sets guidelines for utility companies to follow a certain standard and some of the research indicates the safety code is set too high and should be lowered.

“It’s too high,” said Cook during the council meeting, referring to Safety Code 6.

Council supported a federal review of the code in the same motion, in light of increasing exposure to non-ionizing microwave radiation.

“That was huge,” said Como referring to Cook’s stipulation. “I’m hoping that other areas will come together because it’s going to affect everybody. It’s not just the Village of Montrose or Castlegar, everybody’s got a stake in it.”

FortisBC is responsible for the Village of Montrose, but representatives were unavailable for comment about what kind of weight the village’s new motion carries, or if any smart meters have already been installed in the community.

It is unclear what actions that could trigger from FortisBC.

Cliff Paluck, co-chair of the Kootenay chapter of Citizens for Safe Technology (CST), has been spearheading the campaign for a moratorium in Castlegar, while aiding Como’s battle in Greater Trail.

“There’s now efforts to revise and lower that safety code so that it follows safe levels of human exposure,” Paluck said. “The culprit with the smart meters is that they emit radio frequency electromagnetic radiation and according to the world health organization, what they emit is possibly carcinogenic—B2 which they say is a toxic carcinogenic.”

Paluck was eager to attend the June 4 council meeting in Castlegar to revisit the issues.

The CST has been making presentation to the Regional District of Central Kootenay board of directors about the benefits of having a smart meter moratorium.

“In January . . . we asked for a moratorium so that more research could be done, but that didn’t fly,” said Paluck. “What the regional district did though, was pass a motion calling for FortisBC to proceed in a transparent fashion with public consultation to opt out on receiving the smart meter.

“Then in April, they passed a second motion to include BC Hydro in their first motion.”

For more information about the ramifications smart meters could carry, contact Paluck at cliffpaluck@shaw.ca or 250-365-5420.