Smart Meters lead to layoffs

COPE VP responds to a letter in the Jan. 31 edition of the Gazette.

Dear editor:

Re: “Hydro responds to critics” North Island Gazette letters page, Jan. 31.

Partly due to the opposition to Smart Meters of 140,000 British Columbians, BC Hydro was recently forced to announce they are allowing their contractor Corix another year to complete the final installations.

Hydro customers, whether they’ve had the meters installed or not, are left to wonder how much this delay will add to the cost of the project, already estimated at over $1 billion.

We already know the program has a cost to communities and workers. Starting in mid-December your local meter readers started receiving layoff notice, despite a past promise from Minister Rich Coleman on CKNW that they would attempt to re-train the almost 400 workers. Minister Rich Coleman and Premier Christy Clark still refuse to meet with COPE 378 as the union representing the meter readers.

These are family and community-supporting jobs and it’s shameful to see the government leave so many people behind during this change.

Gwenne Farrell

Vice-President

Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union local 378 (COPE 378)

Burnaby, BC