2014-06-27 BC Liberals – government by decree

1)   Extortion gone crazy.

Toronto is forcing wireless water $meters even where the meter is inside the home. If these meters are like some in BC, the signals are sent virtually constantly, not the 1 second a day the utility company is saying.

http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2014/06/26/80_water_meter_fee_slammed.html

2)  Michigan Stop Smart Meters group

A new group formed in Michigan to fight Smart  meters. Their website lists the communities refusing $meters.

http://www.smartmetereducationnetwork.com/legal-legislation-cities-and-counties.php

3)  BC Liberal government is governing by decree

The Liberals recently have made critical decisions without consulting the legislature, our elected representatives, one of which was “Directive 4” in which they said we would be charged fees if we would not take smart meters, and they, once again, said that there could be no oversight or review of the program by the authority with that responsibility – BCUC.

A member has traced the recent history of these “directives” by which the Liberals are now ruling. These directives allow the ruling party to “govern” without debate, dissent or explanation.  Please see below.

Letters:

From 1992 to 2007, there were 8 special directions from the Government to BCUC.

Of these 5 dealt with Special Direction #8 commencing in 1992 and which in the end was repealed and replaced with SD#9 in 2003. The SD#10 in 2007 opened the door to purchasing electricity under biomass contracts.
In 2009 there were 2 directive, the “home purchasing” plan and the “Burrard Thermal” plan which appears to be the first biomass plan.
In 2010, there were 2 directives, and the Lieutenant Governor’s signature was replaced by the Administrator. These were to do with Insurance and Hunting.
In 2011, there were 2 directives, mainly to do with biomass purchases and establishing contracts to purchase this electricity.
In 2012, there were 10 special directives that were now called “Order In Council” (OIC’s).

The first one appeared in 2011 naming the Companies involved in Electricity Contracts. All of these were made to give special exemptions to various Corporations including Telecommunications Companies. The final two directives were to adjust the meaning of marriage in relation to the Utilities Act and to assess exorbitant penalties to any Director who broke the rules.
In 2013, there were 4 special directives to BCUC. The first 2 were exemptions. The third was giving the Special Direction No. 4 to BCUC Options for customers to opt out of the Smart Meter Program. (7 pages) and finally “Direction No. 5 to BCUC” (48 pages).
In 2014, there are 4 special directives to date. Since the last SD in 2011, all SD’s are OIC’s.

I could find no directives to BCUC referencing Smart Meters. I was looking under the url: http://www.bcuc.com/SpecialDirection.aspx

To summarize,
from 1992 to 2008, there were 8 Special Directives to BCUC, none of which were Orders in Council.

Between 2009 and 2014, there were 24 Special Directives of which the last 19 were Orders in Council.

The first Biomass plan was in 2009. There are now several, all exempt from BCUC’s regulatory powers.

Any questions? I don’t have any answers. A lawyer would have to make sense of these Directives. Why do all these Corporations (such as Overwaitea) get to use electricity and then bill their subsidiaries for the same electricity with no BCUC regulations? Do they also have to install Smart Meters?


Mike Testart  (included at author’s request)

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Sent: June 26, 2014 11:30 AM
To: greg.reimer@bchydro.com; commission.secretary@bcuc.com; complaints@bcuc.com; info@bcombudsperson.ca
Subject: Legacy Fee

As you know, I am retaining my analog meter. I paid a bill which included a legacy fee in January that should not have been charged to me, and I expect to see a credit for this, as the meter read was an estimate. I paid a second bill which included a legacy fee in April, as the meter was read.

My complaint is that here on Saturna Island, these so called “smart” meters where no legacy fee is charged, cannot transmit information via wifi because of coverage. This was told to me by your BCHydro employee today as he read my meter, and also our local certified electrician, also note the said meter reader went next door to my neighbour and read his “smart” meter.  This is a case of discrimination because I have chosen to keep an analog meter. I expect to see a credit for all the legacy fees I have paid from inception to date, and no further charges be made until such time as the “smart” meters can be read via wifi, and BC Hydro actually has to send a meter reader just to read analog meters here on Saturna Island.

Name of author included with permission:

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Sent: June-23-14 9:49 PM
To: ‘Commission Secretary BCUC:EX’

Subject: Spogliarich Reconsider G-59-14- Phase 1 – BCH Meter Choices Decision

Dear Ms. Constance Smith for Erica Hamilton,

As an intervener in the BCUC’s examination into the BC Hydro Meter Choices Program, I support Prof. Spogliarich’s request for a review of the BCUC’s findings and determination. In his request, Prof. Splogliarich clearly demonstrates significant and relevant factors that were overlooked by the BCUC in its decision to approve BCH’s fee structure with only minor adjustments.

The fact that BCUC did not demand an independent audit of BCH’s figures is one of my most concerning issues.  This is like having the fox count the chickens in the hen house without 3rd party proof.

As intervener, MB (name removed), pointed out: “the BC government admitted that these high fees would have the effect of forcing large numbers of customers to acquiesce to BCH’s smart meter program simply because for many the fees for retaining analogues would be prohibitive. At the very least, this implies that part of the reason for the highest fees in North America was to deter customers from refusing smart meters, which has nothing to do with the true costs of having to maintain an analogue contingent among customers. The BCUC failed to investigate this aberration, and erred in approving a fee structure that appears to have been largely designed to force people to accept smart meters against their wishes.”

I am weary of the continued weakening of BCUC’s regulatory process and legal authority as the supposed citizen’s watchdog relating to BC Hydro. The current government has hamstrung BCUC with its bastardization of the Clean Energy Act and Directives.  I was so disgusted by the BCUC’s findings and determination in the BC Hydro Smart Meter program that I have taken another approach.  I ran for and was elected to an executive position on the Provincial Council for the BC Green Party.  I feel that the current government will continue to erode the democratic process and that the only way to obtain fair democracy in this and many other matters is to ensure that they are not elected in the future.  I will be focusing my energy on ensuring that a new, fair, honest government is elected in British Columbia in 2017.

Kind regards,

Kim Darwin

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Quote

“The law should be a shield for the weak and powerless, not a club for the powerful.”*

Governor Roy Barnes (b. 1948),

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