It has occurred to me that the public has no idea how many councillors attend committee meetings or do the work of Council beyond simply showing up at Council meetings. How do you know which councillors work very hard and which ones do not?
How would you know, other than going through all the minutes of the last year and noting who was absent, who was present. Well, I am going to make it easy for you. As of the beginning of this year, I am keeping track of Committee Meetings and attendance. I will be posting it on this blog later in the year. I am including myself in the list, never fear.
When poor little starving Oliver Twist held up his bowl and said, “Please, sir, I want some more,” we admired his pluck and his courage for standing up to power and abuse. We rooted for Harry Potter as he fought evil Lord Voldemort, against overwhelming odds. We always root for the underdog– David vs. Goliath, Ghandi vs. the British Empire, even for the Little Engine that Could, for heaven’s sake.
We should cheer on the courage and conviction of the majority of our School Trustees, who have drawn their own line in the sand against the Provincial Government; a government that is stealing from the future by neglecting the education of the children of today. The firefighters and the Brownie leaders of the future, the peace keepers and the loggers of the future, the trades people and the bus drivers of the future; today, many of them are suffering while children as a result of draconian cuts to education all over this province.
Even if your child is not burdened with a special condition, your bright little Suzie will almost certainly be in an overcrowded classroom with several children who are, who do not have teacher’s aides and to whom the teacher must pay most of her attention. There are children graduating who are marginally literate, with few problem solving skills and no critical thinking abilities at all. I used to secretly sneer at conspiracy theorists and find, to my horror, that I am being forced into becoming one myself.
What better future populace does a powerful government want than one that is under-educated, gullible and easily manipulated by fear, lies, half truths and innuendo? What better social garden is there for tyrants to grow unchecked? One only has to look to the south of us and listen to the people who actually thought Sarah Palin would have made a great vice-president.
We can bail the banks out for billions in this country, but we cannot afford to educate our children. The Cowichan School District is standing alone, showing the leadership that should be mirrored all over the province. How can we adequately support them? Call, email or write letters of support to Education Minister George Abbott, with copies to your MLA and to the school board. Show up at their meetings. And who knows? Perhaps we should get out our pots and start marching in the streets ourselves.
Enough is enough. The future is not theirs to steal.
Each municipality that receives federal gas tax transfers is required to have an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP).
An ICSP is a long-term strategic plan for municipalities. Developed in consultation with members of the community, it identifies goals for sustainability and provides direction for communities as they move into the future.
Please note the following dates in your calendars and plan to attend:
• Public Kick-off meeting:
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4 – Island Savings Community Centre (room TBA; refreshments provided)
• ICSP Community Participation Working Group Session (Open to the Public)
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 – Island Savings Community Centre (room TBA; lunch to be provided)
For Immediate release March 21, 2012 from StopSmartMeters.ca
Are 1.7 Million British Columbians Opposed To Smart Meters?
Contrary to official statistics, BC Hydro and the provincial government continue to claim that less than 1% of BC residents oppose smart meters.
In fact, 36 BC municipalities have voted in support of a moratorium or opt out with respect to BC Hydro’s Smart Meter program. These local governments represent 1.7 million people across the province. Based on BC figures, this represents 37% of the population.
The number of local governments voting in favour of a moratorium or opt out continues to grow and is reflected in the fact that 55% voted against the Smart Meter program at the UBCM convention in September 2011.
In addition, the Chawathil First Nation has issued a statement banning BC Hydro from entering their territory for the purposes of installing smart meters.
Steve Satow, President of StopSmartMeters.ca says: “If one truly believes in representative democracy, then our duly elected officials at the local level are clearly speaking out on our behalf. How can a handful of individuals at the provincial level feel they have the elite power to ignore this fact?”
StopSmartMeters.ca encourages all citizens who wish to restore their democratic rights to go to StopSmartMeters.ca and add their names to the growing list.
Contact – Steve Satow 250 744 2244 Steve @StopSmartMeters.ca 8 AM -1 PM daily
Contact – Walt McGinnis 250 652 5606 WalterM @StopSmartMeters.ca 1 PM – 6 PM daily
At last the government has listened to the screaming from all over the province from seniors in small towns and rural areas.
“People who fail the computer assessment will be offered a DriveABLE road assessment. The results of the in-office assessment combined with the on-road evaluation and medical information will ensure license decisions are made in the fairest manner possible,” said Minister Shirley Bond.
There will be 18 test centres around the province and as well, mobile test centres are in the works. For many, it will be too little too late.
Read the full Changes to the Driveable Program article here.
The BC Utilities Commission has tossed out the Citizens for Safe Technology Society’s attempt to bring an injunction against smart meters. So I guess it is all a done deal and we have no option.
Read the full Smart Meter article here.
This is a bit of a long post, but I have more information to share with you.
Last week I found what I thought was a heartening report from an independent study about smart meters which concluded:
“In summary, with respect to Industry Canada ICES 001 regulations for BC Hydro’s Smart Meters, there was a margin of 14 dB below legal radio interference limits but at only 20 cm from the meter; well below the requirements. With respect to ’s safe exposure limits, the un-averaged peak readings were only 0.002 percent of the safe legal limit.
“The investigation demonstrated that as tested in the purported worst case scenario, BC Hydro’s Smart Meters pose no threat of illegal radio interference, or health hazards according to Canadian regulations.”
I have since had my relief blown out of the water by the following:
This is the same Rob Stirling report which has already been identified by Michelle Khong to contain a huge (three orders of magnitude!) error in the field strength of the bank of smart meters measured in volts per meter. Apparently this Professional Engineer has trouble distinguishing between millivolts and microvolts.
The Stirling report concluded that the peak radio field detected at 20 cm from center of the network of 10 transmitting Smart Meters was 80 dBuV/m which he then converted to 10 microvolts per meter. As can be calculated from the following website: http://www.compeng.com.au/emc_conversion_tables_field_strength_calculator.aspx , 80 dBuV/m converts to 0.01 volts per meter (V/m), which is equivalent to 10 millivolts per meter, NOT 10 microvolts per meter (an underestimation of 1000 times, or THREE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE.) The report goes on to calculate this as a percentage of Canada’s Safety Code 6 guideline of 49 V/m and incorrectly arrives at 0.002 percent. The correct figure is 0.02 percent because Stirling makes another error using his own incorrect figure when calculating the percentage.
In fact, throughout the article, out of four uses of the unit “microvolts,” three are incorrect and should have “millivolts” substituted to correct them. Each of these is out by a factor of 1000, or three orders of magnitude. Only the third instance at the top of page 6 is correct. Regardless of his measurements and how they compare to Safety Code 6, the whole analysis of safety is nonsense because Safety Code 6 has been demonstrated to be inappropriate with respect to the safety of exposure to microwave radiation since it only considers thermal effects and not non-thermal biological effects which have been proven by peer-reviewed science.
The BC Center for Disease Control released a report in June of last year which reports vastly higher field strength readings than Stirling’s at the same measurement distance of 20 cm. Converting The BC CDC measurement of 0.02 mW/cm2 to V/m using the previously mentioned calculator yields 8.68 V/m. This is 868 times the field strength reported by Stirling.
To summarize, the Stirling report:
1) indicates a field strength over 800 times less than the result measured by the BC Center for Disease Control;
2) has at least four technical errors, three of which are off by a factor of 1000, putting the entire analysis into question;
3) evaluates the safety of the smart meter’s microwave field strength using Canada’s Safety Code 6, an outdated, inappropriate standard that only considers thermal effects without considering non-thermal biological effects which have been proven by peer-reviewed science.
Hugh Hinskens, B.Sc. Physics, EET
Here’s a a table that will blow you away in terms of international standards–600 µwatts/cm2 is basically Code 6!
US Nuclear Expert Dr. Daniel Hirsch: The Cumulative radiation emitted by Smart Meters are at least 100 time more powerful than a cell phone.
Comments on the Draft Report by the California Council on Science and Technology
“Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters”
And here is an email from Ted Olnyk head of BC Hydro, to Richard Hughes about how to not get a Smart Meter installed for now.
From: Olynyk, Ted [mailto:Ted.Olynyk@bchydro.com]
Sent: January-17-12 4:26 PM
Subject: Re: Do Not Install
For do not installs you need to one or both of these:
Put a note on your meter indication your desire
An email to email@example.com with your address
Hope things are well.
Smart Meter Installation
“Meter exchanges in your community will commence in January 2012 and are scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2012,” Olynyk’s letter read. “BC Hydro customers in your community will receive a letter a few weeks prior to their meter upgrade. The letter will notify customers when their meters will be exchanged and what they can expect during the process.” This is from the letter from Ted Olnyk of BC Hydro to Mayor Phil Kent.
This despite the fact that council voted unanimously for a moratorium on Smart Meters for the city of Duncan.
We have been given an ultimatum. “Accept the Smart Meter or go off the grid.” How democratic is that?
Personally, I am not too concerned about the alleged health impacts. But I cannot believe that this is not the foot in the door of Time of Day billing. Their own website states, “While smart meters are installed across B.C., rate structures will remain the same. If voluntary or mandatory time-of-use rates are considered in the future, they’ll be implemented only after extensive public consultation and an independent regulatory review. ” Oh yeah.
The program which is reported to be costing $1 Billion in total has awarded the very first smart meter contract — $73 million to install up to 1.8 million of the new devices — went to a company with close ties to the BC Liberals. Indeed, that company is directly connected to a BC Hydro director.
Read the full article here.
Smart Meter Coming to Duncan
Mayor Phil Kent has just received a letter from Ted Olnyk of BC Hydro that installation of Smart Meters in Duncan will begin January 2012 and are scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2012.
The letter states that BC Hydro customers in our community will receive a letter “a few weeks prior to their meter upgrade.” The letter will notify customers when their meters will be exchanged and what they can expect during the process.
I am not sure what his definition of a few weeks is, since January is one week away. You can read the letter here.
I look forward to working with returning councillors Tom Duncan and Joe Thorne as well as the three new councillors, Michelle Bell, Michelle Staples and Martin Barker. I think the next three years will see a lot of changes.
Good bye to Jesse Winfrey, Ray Cadorette and Paul Fletcher, all of whom worked very hard over the past years.
I look forward to 2012, our centennial year, and to seeing and talking to you all.