RDKB takes stand on health concerns

The district has no jurisdiction on smart meters specifically, chair explains.

Advanced meter.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will not be sending a letter calling on the government to put a halt to the installation of smart meters.

However, the regional district (RDKB) is going to petition the government to recommend a review of Health Canada’s safety code.

Acting on information and reports submitted to the RDKB, discussion about the safety and health concerns of smart meters was added to the agenda at the board’s meeting in Grand Forks Thursday. A small group of concerned citizens attended.

Chair Grace McGregor began by explaining that in regards to smart meters, local government does not have any jurisdiction.

A recent resolution by the Regional District of Okangan Similkameen (RDOS) has no teeth, she explained. That district requested the metering project be stopped and that all smart meters already installed be removed.

“We need to take a stand on what we can take a stand on,” McGregor added.

Before making his motion, Area D/Rural Grand Forks Director Roly Russell explained that authorized actions are limited. “There needs to be clarity as to what is, and what is not, the RDKB’s mandate and jurisdiction.”

Therefore, “It is resolved that the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors petitions the Premier of British Columbia, the Honourable Christy Clark, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Terry Lake, and the Chief Medical Health Officer for B.C., Dr. Perry Kendall to recommend review of Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 to ensure appropriate protections for our citizens, based on the precautionary principle and a transparent review of the available research.

“Further, that the board also petition the Government of Canada to work in collaboration with the health departments of the provinces and territories, to examine existing cancer data collection methods in order to improve the collection of information relating to wireless device use and cancer.”

“The resolution we passed has a way bigger impact [than the RDOS resolution],” McGregor said.

The best action for citizens is to take their concerns to their MLAs and to health authorities, both she and Russell stressed.