Over the last number of months, I have heard more and more objections about the installation of Smart meters on every BC Hydro customer’s home. There have also been a number of news stories with headlines that ask just how ‘smart’ it is to push Smart meters on those who do not want them.
It seems to me that Premier Clark’s BC Liberals haven’t learned a single thing from the HST debacle. Instead of re-evaluating their actions, they are continuing to show complete contempt for the wishes of the people that they are supposed to serve.
The BC Liberals have failed to make a compelling case for the installation of Smart meters. In fact, they have removed Smart meters from the oversight of the BC Utilities Commission which is the body that is tasked with ensuring that actions taken are in the best interests of BC Hydro ratepayers.
I have always believed that transparency in government is necessary to protect not only the electorate, but also those who have been elected. Transparency ensures that decisions are made following a proper process, protecting elected officials from misunderstandings, and, in the end, results in the best decisions.
Elected officials who are committed to providing the best for those they represent will not allow that openness and oversight to be lessened. Whenever a decision is removed from scrutiny, you can be sure that the decision-makers are concerned that the decision that has been made cannot be defended.
Can the BC Liberals actually make a convincing economic case that spending $1 billion on Smart meters will result in larger savings? Have health concerns been adequately investigated? Who is receiving the most benefit from the installation of Smart meters?
British Columbians are so concerned about Smart meters that at the recent Union of BC Municipalities convention, local government officials voted to support a moratorium on the further installation of Smart meters.
When Christy Clark took over the leadership of the BC Liberals she promised a new way of doing government. She tried to distance herself from Gordon Campbell’s record.
But it is clear that nothing has changed. The BC Liberals are going to handle the Smart meter controversy in exactly the same way they handled the HST. And British Columbians are going to pay the price.
If you want to learn more about the Smart metering program and the company that was awarded the Smart meter contract, google ‘Tyee McMartin Smart meters’
Norm Macdonald is the New Democratic Party MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke. You can reach him through his website, www.NormMacdonald.ca.