The real smart meter manipulation

Tom Fletcher condemns anti-smart meter organization.

VICTORIA – Two very different scenes unfolded at opposite ends of the province last week.

In the remote northwest corner of B.C., the first power line towers started going up to connect Highway 37 communities to the BC Hydro grid. The Nisga’a, Tahltan and other aboriginal communities will soon have reliable power, as well as much-needed training and jobs during clearing and construction.

Meanwhile down on the Gulf Islands, the most hysterical, dishonest campaign against smart meters I’ve heard of so far went into high gear.

I’ve obtained a mass e-mail from the head anti-smart meter organizer on Salt Spring Island that shows the mentality at work here. (Corix is the BC Hydro contractor that has installed more than a million meters and has approached the Gulf Islands with trepidation, the last area of B.C. to be done.)

“Corix is attacking with 30 trucks on Mon the 22nd,” Chris Anderson wrote in October. “Poelpe [sic] are advised NOT to attend the Victoria pipeline rally but instead help defend agianst [sic] spymeter installations in their neighbourhoods.”

Anderson’s self-appointed supporters fanned out across the island, attempting to turn away installers on the false assumption that everyone has fallen for their crackpot fear campaign. They managed to stop 12 per cent of the installations.

Coincidentally, Anderson has been doing a brisk business selling $35 meter locks to gullible Salt Spring Islanders in recent months. They don’t work, and you’re not allowed to lock BC Hydro property anyway. Others have been sold official-looking “no smart meter” signs that don’t identify the customer, so they don’t work either.

As for the term “spymeter,” I’ve reported on the weird theories spread by Bill Vander Zalm in a video interview, where he claims smart meters are part of a global surveillance system that can even tell what you’re cooking. Vander Zalm has been outdone by one Brian Thiesen, who styles himself as the “chairman” of “Interior Smart Meter Awareness.”

In September, the Merritt Herald reported on Theisen’s presentation to 20 unwary people in a church basement. He claimed wireless meters not only provide video surveillance of your house, they are also responsible for “dying bees” and “defective sperm and eggs” as well as disease and fires.

Thiesen even claimed radiofrequency signals can “pull your PIN number directly out of your head.” Is there no limit to the nonsense some people will fall for?

Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis co-authored a study that shows residential fires have decreased with the advent of smart meters. Which brings me to the ugliest opposition to this modernization, the criminal element.

Here in North America’s marijuana mecca, installers have encountered many meter bypasses, wired up to steal hydro and conceal high consumption for grow ops. In addition to being illegal, they are a fire hazard that is removed when discovered.

Installers also find more sophisticated cases of hydro theft. Removing the mechanical meter reveals a hole cut in the back of the case, so the dials can be turned back to hide a grow op’s power consumption. No wonder some people want to lock them down.

Of course all of this is defeated by a smart grid system, so the growers and other crooks are angry.

A BC Hydro official told me about one case where a user was told he had a bypass, and that it was being removed. His bill went from next to nothing to a reasonable level.

The customer complained to the media, falsely inflating the amount of his bill and blaming an inaccurate smart meter.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter for Black Press. tfletcher@blackpress.ca

 

Just Posted

Suspicious fire in Alert Bay burns two homes, spreads to nearby bush

Police say underage suspects have been identified

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles tie Dawson Creek Canucks in front of massive hometown crowd in Port Hardy

The Tier 3 Bantam Championships continued in style last night at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

Chief Administrative Officer officially appointed in Port McNeill

“Pete brings with him 17 years of municipal experience.”

Port Hardy RCMP’s 2018 fourth quarter crime stats are in

Port Hardy RCMP Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen spoke to Port Hardy council March 12.

Port Alice’s Scotiabank branch closing for good next month

Port Alice is going through a transition to a more diversified economy that includes tourism.

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Cougar on Island might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read