Fighting Hydro Quebec smart meters

MONTREAL – Opponents to smart meters are picking up their campaign.

The activists insist Hydro-Québec is misleading the public about the health risks the new radio-frequency emitting meters have on the population.

Opponents claim the emission levels are much more dangerous than what the public utility company reports.

Almost 2,000 electrical pulses a day are sent from the meters that have been installed in more than 175,000 homes in greater Montreal.

”We don’t know, actually, the impacts of this because we’ve never done a global study on living with a smart meter in our house 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long,” said Brigitte Watson.

The Pointe-Claire resident refused to allow HQ from installing a new smart meter at her house. She wrote a letter to the public utility company insisting that it leave her traditional analog meter in place.

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”I think it’s completely unacceptable that an outside entity is telling me what I’m allowed to have in my own home when I don’t agree with it,” she said.

But HQ downplays the opponents’ fears.

Spokesperson Patrice Lavoie insists the new state-of-the-art meters emit 55 micro watts per square metre- much less than what cell phones, microwaves and even baby monitors emit.

”The meter by itself is totally harmless to people. It is safe and secure,” he said.

HQ plans to install more than 1.7 million smart meters by the end of the year.

Opponents hope that won’t happen. They’re calling for a moratorium to be issued until more information on the health risks is known.