This is a working group within the Occupy Powell River organization, which seeks to educate the public to the issues around Smart Meters, not addressed by BC Hydro. Our goal is to stop and reverse the INVOLUNTARY replacement of analog electric meters with EMR transmitting Smart Meters.
Our group believes that no device should be placed on or near every home in the province, for which there has never been made an environmental, health, privacy, safety, civil rights, and economic impact statement, which has never had oversight and approval by the BC Public Utilities Commission, and which has been forced upon citizens, often against their will in violation of their constitutional rights.
The day of the “Anti-Bullying Walk” began with pounding sleet. Oh, boy. This was not the weather we had ordered. However, by start time, 11:00 am, it was mostly sunny, cold and beautiful.
We had about 8 folks meet at BC Hydro, where we talked, and I introduced the event & the many reasons for it. Then, we set off with signs on the ~8 block walk to Nicholas Simons', MLA office. We received numerous supportive honks and thumbs-up. People definitely slowed to read our signs. Only a few glowered and raced along.
Nicholas Simon's MLA office was very hospitable to us, and glad that we were voicing our concerns. They had given permission for us to use their covered patio for a gathering, where we had set up tables in advance with our own brochures, information to take, information to read there, 2 petitions, a display board of issues, and a computer with some interesting Smart Meter videos.
Maggie Hathaway, Constituents Assistant to Nicholas Simons, MLA, read supportive comments Mr. Simons had wanted to convey to us from Victoria, where he was in session. These remarks are postedon the Smart Meter Working Group page. The MLA office even gave us coffee!
Fifteen people had participated at some point in the process, and we received signatures from most of them. Not bad for a first event in a small town! I have already heard by e-mail from a fellow, who wasn't there, but who wants to sign a petition (or two), because his electric bill has tripled. At the end, we delivered our own paper petition with different wording (also posted here) to Nicholas Simons, MLA, via his office staff. We will keep collecting signatures for both.
The Peak interviewed people, and took photos. A radio sound byte (~ 1 minute) was played on a JET / SUN radio station, that morning. I’m not sure about coverage by CJMP.
We milled with signs, and tried to catch the eye of drivers along Marine until 1:00 pm. It was a surprisingly good day. We, all, went home knowing that the next event (probably, Earth Day's closest Saturday) will be a whole lot easier to host, because much of the work has already been done. We may do a table in the mall, in the interim.
This event was made possible by the hard work of Susan R., Mischa B., Wendy P., Milo B., Zoë P., and Andrew P. The Smart Meter Working Group is also grateful to the BC Coalition to Stop Smart Meters for the "Anti-Bullying" Theme, the wealth of documents & information on their website, and their supportive & educational e-mails to organizers. ALL contributed to making this a successful event in Powell River. We look forward to our next one.