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City should be challenged on smart water meters

A notice of non-conformance with the city’s smart water meter project has been sent to me and to an unknown number of other St. Albert residents.

A notice of non-conformance with the city’s smart water meter project has been sent to me and to an unknown number of other St. Albert residents. The notice states that failure to comply is a contravention of the city’s water bylaw, an offence that may result in disruption of water service and a fine up to $1,000. I am supposed to comply by Oct. 17.

A few other people who have received the same notice have contacted me as they are concerned about how they can respond. Some of these people already have health conditions that they are dealing with and this makes their situation even more stressful.

I want to encourage others who have received the notice of non-conformance to contact me with their concerns. I have established a special email account, [email protected], so that we can open up the lines of communication. This is important since this is an urgent matter of public interest.

I believe the city has to be challenged on making the smart meter program mandatory, without options, completely disregarding the needs of people with autoimmune diseases and electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). They also need to be challenged on the privacy issue. A large number of utilities in Canada and the U.S. provide people with alternatives to smart meters and so should St. Albert.

It's incredible that the city has an electromagnetic frequency (EMF) transmitter pulsing every 14 seconds or more than 6,100 times a day, to create a billing every two months. That's about 375,000 electromagnetic frequency (EMF) pulses to prepare one billing. There are other safer alternatives and this is totally unnecessary.

In 2015, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health studied the effect of radio frequency electromagnetic radiation and the health of Canadians. During its deliberations, the committee agreed to direct Health Canada to provide detailed information on the reasons for acceptance or rejection of 140 studies on electromagnetic radiation submitted by the non-profit organization Canadians for Safe Technologies with regards to Safety Code 6.

Four of the committee’s final 12 recommendations referenced electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Dr. Magda Havas had told the committee that “as many as three per cent of the population, one million Canadians, have EHS symptoms that are so severe they are unable to function in our modern world.”

Dr. Riina Bray, a medical director at the Women’s College Hospital, told the committee that the number of diagnosed cases of EHS has increased dramatically in the last 10 years and that many individuals who are sensitive to EMF “find everyday life and work difficult and uncomfortable.”

Using Dr, Havas’  three per cent estimate, some 2,000 residents of St. Albert would be severely electromagnetic hypersensitive and should not have smart meters in their homes. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is considered a disability in many jurisdictions. Our society accommodates other disabilities, why then would we not provide an option for these people?

Jerry Manegre, St. Albert