Hydro smart meter rollout may continue, protests continue

Hydro Quebec is getting ready to roll out its new smart meters in the rest of the province after nearly completing the operation in the Montreal area.

And opponents are none too pleased.

A group of 20 people demonstrated before heading into this morning's Energy Board hearings on the authorization of the second and third phases of the installation.  Another protest is planned for this Saturday.

The Refuson les Compteurs collective has tabled over 440 briefs before the Energy Board. They describe the smart meter's impact on their health and the grief they get from Hydro workers when they refuse to have them installed.

Rosemont resident Julie Rocque said she put two and two together after doing some research and coming upon studies as well as the Refusons les Compteurs movement.

"For me it was a lot of heart palpitations, real difficulty concentrating, weird fatigue all of a sudden, like fatigue drops, things I've never had in my life," Rocque told CJAD 800 News.

"To me I was able, by chance, to put it together but a lot of people are not able to put it together, because a lot of these symptoms are things that could be caused by other things, insomnia, headaches, etc."

The collective is calling for a moratorium on the installation until more studies are done.

"There's a lot of studies with cellphones, other types of radiofrequencies, but with this one, which is a totally different way of emitting, there's one study in Australia that came out showing people are getting sick with that. So we say, please, before you put that in everybody's homes, stop and let's have more studies, please," said Rocque.

The group denounces the way Hydro Quebec keeps brushing off their concerns and complaints and proceeds to continue with installing the meters.

"It's nothing more than criminal," said Marie-Michelle Poisson, who began the anti-smart meter movement in Villeray.

Hydro Quebec dismisses the concerns as rumour, insisting there are no health issues and citing Health Canada and Royal Society of Canada studies to that effect.

The power utility says they've completed more than 80% of the first phase of the smart meter rollout, with the installation of nearly 1.4-million meters. The first phase should be done by June. It says the rate of refusal for installation stands at below 0.4%.

If the Energy Board approves the next phases, Hydro says all the meters will be installed throughout the province by 2018, for a total of 3.8-million meters.

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  1. Nicola T. posted on 04/09/2014 03:34 PM
    Let's face it, this is coming from the union members who don't want to lose their jobs. The whole point of smart meters is to save money, and if, let's say, every fifth house doesn't want it, then the economies are totally lost. People who use cellphones every day next to their brain are worried about meters that are installed outside and are only read once in a while.
    1. LMAO posted on 04/11/2014 06:50 AM
      @Nicola T. Whilst i don't necessarily agree they are harmful i have yet to discover any communication device that is able to remotely switch on to receive an incoming signal. They are live and working 24/7. Just like your cell phone. If there is an issue it will most likely be the frequency it uses.
  2. Ray S posted on 04/09/2014 03:54 PM
    And all the while, the refuseniks chat away on their cordless and cell phones!

    Time to buy Alcan stock because sure as heck there is a run on tin foil hats!
  3. Beware of Smeters posted on 04/10/2014 10:15 PM
    If you think RF/EMF radiating your body has no impact on you or your health, then I suggest you look at some of the research done by Martin Blank Ph.D. Higher bills, privacy and safety concerns also come part and parcel with smart meters. Why anyone would actually want one of these things on their house is beyond me, but most don't even have a clue or are too busy to care. Nice to see some people are taking a stand against this unnecessary, obnoxious device.
    1. moo posted on 08/14/2014 10:43 PM
      @Beware of Smeters Its in my house... :( giving me headaches and my daughter niw screams at it gfor no reason
  4. LMAO posted on 04/11/2014 06:45 AM
    A far bigger concern is the amount of reports of incorrect billing after these have been installed. In Ontario there are many cases of peoples hydro bills being astronomical after having these things installed.
  5. Fiona Hook posted on 04/16/2014 05:07 AM
    They are also very easily hacked. If you want any remotely tech savvy burglar to know from your power consumption exactly when you are out during the day, this is the device to install.
  6. Donny posted on 04/16/2014 01:25 PM
    Stealing your personal information and selling it.
    A well documented health risk, plastic meters from China, risk of fire and sky high Hydro prices.

    What's to like?

    People should look up NERC and ask themselves how our the control of our hydro electric power resource could have been quietly handed over to an American Corporation.
  7. Colleen posted on 05/27/2014 06:38 PM
    I opted out.. Not because if the radio waves or whatever they are called. I opted out because they have not convinced me that it's in my best interest. They have a monopoly on providing power, we have no other options, so I'm a skeptic when it comes to them.... They have not said we, the consumers, will save any money at all. But if they are going to spend all this money to change the meters they must know that thy will save a ton of money... It all comes down to that... Money in the shareholders pockets and none in ours... Just like internet companies and cell phone companies they will now be able to have billing by the second... The benefits to us: no more estimates..so what?...easier when you move... So what? I am not moving anytime soon... I can go online and monitor my consumption? Do they actually think I have time to do that? Come on... And Thats just added stress for me... Actually looking at what I'm using and getting charged for and no being to do anything about it? There's NO benefit to the consumer. The benefit is all for them.,
  8. Mike L posted on 06/14/2014 08:33 PM
    To anyone uninformed about the smart meters..... Please Youtube the video entitled "National Day Of Action Against Smart Meters with Jerry Flynn" Another good video is "The Dark Side of Smart Meters". DO THE RESEARCH PEOPLE.....FOR YOUR HEALTH'S SAKE! This is HUGE.
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