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Human rights tribunal approves complaint against BC Hydro’s smart meters

File photo from July 5, 2011, in Burnaby, B.C. - Gary Murphy, Chief Project Officer for Smart Metering at BC Hydro, opens a box containing smart meter units which will be installed in homes around BC in the coming months. The smart meters wirelessly transmit data back to BC Hydro.

Brett Beadle/The Globe and Mail

B.C.'s Human Rights Tribunal has accepted a complaint from a group that accuses BC Hydro of discriminating against people with certain medical conditions and disabilities.

The group, known as Citizens for Safe Technology, says it does not want smart meters installed.

It says its members have electromagnetic hypersensitivity or other disabilities and doctors have advised them to avoid wireless technology.

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The group says it has contacted BC Hydro about its concerns, and claims the utility did not accommodate its request for wired meters instead.

BC Hydro says the complaint does not qualify as a human rights violation and accuses the group of lobbying on behalf of health preferences and for political motivations.

The company has said the smart meters are an essential upgrade that will improve public safety and monitoring of electricity consumption.

Although the Tribunal has approved the complaint, it says the types of disabilities and medical conditions claimed to be affected by smart meters must to be narrowed before the case can proceed.

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