Tens of thousands of British Columbians continue to hold out against the imposition by BC Hydro of so-called smart meters at their homes and businesses.

“In my Comox Valley community the exact number of holdouts is known only to the utility itself”, says Kel Kelly, a Merville resident and smart meter opponent, but he suspects the number is in the hundreds. The number on Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands is likely in the thousands.

Kelly is spearheading a campaign to bring all of those people together to identify themselves to each other and to build their legal strength in numbers.

“Right now, Hydro knows exactly who has a smart meter and who doesn’t”, he says. “That leaves the ordinary citizen in a position of not knowing just how big the movement against smart meters is. We need to change that.”

“Hydro is using all manner of intimidation to force people to accept this technology even though there is very valid concern that it is not safe”, he says. “Many people are worried that a personal health threat is being forced into their lives.”

“Then there are those of us who are simply fed up with being bullied by government and its agencies”, he says. “Hydro instituted its smart meter program with absolutely no consultation with the citizens it is supposed to be serving”, he says. “Many of us are fighting this program because it is undemocratic and likely illegal. When citizens roll over and allow governments and their agents to push their way into our private lives, those forces will come as far as we allow them.”

A great number of smart meter resisters are challenging Hydro’s legal right to trespass on their private property to change the meters. Most of those people’s meters have been left alone, though Hydro is now billing them a “legacy meter fee” of $32.50 per month.

“Most people are not paying this fee, as they believe it to be an illegal charge”, says Kelly, “but ultimately this will have to be tested in court. That’s where a united coalition of smart meter resisters comes in. None of us can win this fight alone, politically or financially. We need to get organized. ”

There will be a meeting of anyone interested in learning more about this campaign at 2727 Merville Road (near the Merville Store) on Thursday, May 29 beginning at 7 p.m. sharp. All are welcome.

For more information contact: Kel Kelly at 250 337 8348 or kelkelly55@yahoo.ca

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