- A member is receiving faulty bills from BCHydro and is wondering why. I would encourage everyone to read their meters on the “next read date” that is on each bill, and confirm the accuracy of each bill before paying. This is happening too often. I believe Hydro is depending on people’s trust and naïveté.
“last month, a month to have BCHydro read my analog meter, had a reading 3 X too high (I take daily readings of my analog), so I spoke by phone and was told they’ll take another reading in August. The reading in August is 4 X too high.
One of two things is happening with my analog meter and BC Hydro ‘readings’. Either B.C. Hydro are NOT reading my meter manually, and therefore charging me is a fraud, or they are reading it manually then fraudulently upping the reading in-house somewhere.
Either way they are not giving me the recognition that my power use has gone down from a bill of about $200 per month, to a bill of $20 per month.”
- Below, in Letters, is an email that I received from Ecojustice, one of the few legal groups dedicated to helping strengthen environmental laws and ensuring that they are followed. They are asking for our help in electing candidates who support stronger environmental laws, ones that many other countries already have.
- Comcast has developed Xfinity, a few wifi service that converts homes into commercial centres, to make each router a transmitter providing “free” wifi to those within a large radius. Many people are experiencing serious health effects. I wonder how legal it is to use customers’ private homes for business purposes without permission and without compensation. If any of you are Comcast customers, can you please find out if Xfinity is being “offered” in your area and let me know. Please put “Comcast” in the subject line.
Xfinity is Comcast’s new system for delivering content. However, rather than just delivering your internet and cable, Comcast is using your new Xfinity router as a gateway into your “smart home” and to deliver WiFi service to anyone within a few hundred feet of your home. The plan is to turn their customers’ homes into public “hot spots” with the result that WiFi is nearly ubiquitous in our communities.
- Abbotsford is installing smart water meters that will provide constant info about water usage and who-knows-what-else. We need more info about the type of meters being used. If anyone lives in Abbotsford and has info., please share.
- Information about various gas $$mart meters can be found at http://emrabc.ca/?page_id=4977 We don’t know what model FortisBC is intending to install, but there is a good overview of what is out there on this page. I have written to FortisBC, asking for specifications of the meter included in their application to BCUC. As soon as I get more info I will share.
- In California today, a judge heard the opening arguments concerning Berkeley’s requirement that cell phones come with a written warning.
“A federal judge suggested Thursday that he would strip Berkeley’s cell phone ordinance of its most far-reaching language — telling customers the devices may pose radiation dangers for children — but might leave the rest of the city’s warning message intact, over industry objections.
The message about risks to children is “controversial” and was not required by the Federal Communications Commission in manufacturers’ product manuals, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said during a 90-minute hearing in his San Francisco courtroom. But he noted that the rest of the information that Berkeley wants retailers to convey to customers, that carrying a switched-on phone in their pockets or bra might exceed federal radiation-safety standards, is taken from FCC findings.”
From: Ecojustice: Devon Page, executive director [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: August 20, 2015 5:00 AM
To: Sharon Noble <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Cast your vote for strong environmental laws
Do you believe in the rule of law? If you are reading this, you would likely say you do. You may not know exactly how to put your belief into words, but it might fall along the lines of — everyone, from people to corporations to governments, must act according to laws that protect our fundamental rights.
If you are reading this, you also probably believe in environmental sustainability. Again, you may not know exactly how to describe that, but it probably includes making things better, not leaving the earth in even worse shape.
Canada’s environmental laws, however, do not protect our fundamental environmental rights.
We have no national laws to fight climate change, now recognized as one of the greatest threats to our health and well-being. We are one of the few wealthy nations in the world that has not enshrined the right to a healthy environment in our constitution. Many of our so-called environmental laws are actually about limiting the impact environment protections will have on resource extraction — particularly oil and gas.
In December 2011, a lobby group for the Canadian oil and gas industry wrote the federal government asking it to change several laws, gutting environmental protections. The result was the 2012 omnibus budget bill, which dramatically weakened regulatory oversight of major projects like pipelines and narrowed the public’s right to participate in environmental decision-making. As the CBC reported, “Within 10 months of the request, the industry had almost everything it wanted.”
As Canada’s only national environmental law charity, we spend most of our time talking to judges who interpret the law. While we have won our share of landmark victories over the years, judges must work with the laws and environmental policies already on the books. And Canada’s environmental laws and policies don’t get them very far.
In fact, our laws have only gotten worse. Last year, a report released by the Washington-based Center for Global Development ranked Canada’s environmental protection record dead last among 27 wealthy countries. The Center noted that Canada is the only country whose environmental protections have deteriorated since the index began in 2003.
So, if you believe in the rule of law, and if you believe in environmental sustainability, we need you to talk to the people who write our laws. With a federal election looming, now’s the time. We have a chance to regain lost ground, and then some, if we send a collective message: Canadians expect our government to introduce, uphold and enforce strong environmental laws.
Evidence from around the world proves that strengthening environmental laws, such as enshrining a constitutional right to a healthy environment, leads to better environmental outcomes and a lighter ecological footprint. Even modest law reforms can improve our health, help restore damaged ecosystems, and pave the way for a more sustainable future.
In the lead up to the election, I urge you to research candidates in your riding. Find out where they stand on addressing the environmental issues that matter most to you. Most importantly, get out there on election day and cast your vote for strong environmental laws. Sincerely,
Devon Page, executive director
Newsletter prepared by Sharon Noble
Power of the People is stronger than the People in Power