Representatives of the Town of Qualicum Beach voted unanimously at last weekend’s Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting to call for a moratorium on the installation of BC Hydro smart meters.
On Monday night, they took their stand one step farther.
Speaking at the opening of the regular council meeting Monday, Councillor Barry Avis called for council to take another vote, this one independent of the UBCM, to call for a moratorium.
Although the motion passed unanimously, with Coun. Kent Becker absent, not everyone was convinced of the need for such a motion.
“It behoves us to support this motion, as voted on at the UBCM, however, this is not a community-by-community issue,” said Coun. Mary Brouilette.
“The power was in the UBCM resolution. That’s where council made their opinions known, by holding up a card. (This vote) doesn’t mean very much one way or the other.”
Coun. Jack Wilson was more skeptical, suggesting that at least some of the opposition to the smart meter program was fueled by “people who are intransigent in their views and can’t be persuaded.
“I wonder out loud what it would take for the people who are against the smart meter installation,” he said.
“What evidence is it going to take to persuade them they are not harmful?”
Avis responded by stressing the need to get more information before the mandatory devices are installed on homes across the province. He said part of the rational for the vote also stemmed from frustration.
“What happened at the UBCM on Tuesday was that the government said to us basically, ‘we don’t care what you think. You’re getting smart meters,’” Avis said.
“When we formed as a body on Friday, we called for a moratorium so residents can better understand what they are about and if there are health issues, if there are privacy issues.
“What we are doing is asking for caution and better understanding with our residents of B.C.”