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Tempers flare as smart metres get public vet in Lachine

Hydro-Quebec officials hope the controversial smart metre will save it more than $80 million a year. .
Hydro-Quebec officials hope the controversial smart metre will save it more than $80 million a year. .

Hydro-Quebec hoped to give a presentation that would calm the waters about its new smart metres, Thursday. Instead, it ended up getting an earful, as outraged residents shouted at the representatives of the power monopoly at a town hall meeting in Lachine.

Principal worries citizens voiced include the company’s financial motivations and health concerns.

“We have enough health data right now that we know people are getting injured,” from emissions, said Doug Jack, of the Sustainable Development Corporation. “We should be cautious, we shouldn’t be establishing these systems.”

Hydro-Quebec officials counter the technology – which transmits household electricity data wirelessly- is completely safe and it offers benefits of accuracy, convenience and savings. But consumers doubt they’ll see a dime of the surplus.

“The only reason you’re installing these metres is so you can make more money,” Lachine resident James Delaboursodiere told Hydro-Quebec officials at the meeting.

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Hydro-Quebec says the new metres will save it more than $80 million a year.