COLUMN: Smart meter manipulation happens

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

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 B.C. 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 B.C. 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.

Anderson has been selling $35 meter locks to Salt Spring Islanders in recent months. They don’t work, and you’re not allowed to lock B.C. 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 Thiesen’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 B.C. 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 and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com.

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Tilray announces new line of products offering more inexpensive choices for medical cannabis users. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo-based Tilray launches new medical cannabis product line

Symbios brand products offered at ‘better price point’ for medical cannabis products

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

New Vancouver Island University chancellor Judith Sayers was sworn in at a virtual ceremony June 17. (Submitted photo)
VIU’s new chancellor seeks innovation and equality in post-secondary education

Judith Sayers officially sworn in as Vancouver Island University chancellor

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read