Hydro-Québec reassures Lévis over water meters

Hydro-Québec reassures Lévis over water meters

To reassure the population of Lévis on the installation of new smart meters, representatives of Hydro-Québec held an information evening last Thursday, where citizens could ask questions and learn about the subject. This event took place with the presence of members of the group Lévis Refuse smart meters, standing at the entrance to give their own version of events.

Inside the council chambers of Lévis City Hall Levis, stakeholders were reassured.

You may recall that Health Canada has given its blessing to the project, saying the exposure of citizens to radiofrequency energy that emanates from the new devices is well below the limits set by the agency.

However, outside of the room, opponents of the project take a different view. According to them, studies show that the new smart meters can
have a real impact on the health of users.

“It turns out that all those in the international scientific community that address the issue squarely say that it’s dangerous. Even though these people scream that it is dangerous and Hydro-Québec says it is not, until there is a correlation of all these ideas, the simple precautionary principle should be respected “expresses Luc Forbeau, of Stoneham, who came to lend a hand in Lévis’ group Refuse Smart Meters.

“Electromagnetic waves, it’s called electrosmog. It’s like the wind is like the air, we do not see, but it’s there. If you breathe it, it will pass through the body for years, you end up getting sick, “believes the instigator of Lévis’ group Refuse Smart Meters, Jocelyne Breton. She added that she will arrange an information meeting similar to that of the corporation shortly.

Luc Forbeau recalls that many testimonies of people who are hypersensitive to electromagnetic fields show, he said, there is a link between the introduction of these new devices and the appearance of symptoms such as loss of balance, headaches and memory loss.

He tells of a lady in Stoneham who began to experience these signs when a new meter was installed in it, and that she had to leave home to go to her sisters, who had not yet received this unit. Her symptoms completely disappeared in a few days.

For its part, the spokesman for Hydro-Québec, Patrice Lavoie, would like to reassure the population. He believes that the appearance of these symptoms is not related to smart meters, but is rather caused by the nocebo effect, the opposite of the placebo effect.

“The nocebo effect, it is believed that there is something that makes us sick, so we begin to feel the symptoms indeed. It is a psychological phenomenon documented in scientific evidence. We are not saying that these people are in bad health. It is assumed that their symptoms are real, but in the same breath they say that it cannot be linked”.

He said that the replacement of Hydro-Québec equipment was no longer a choice but a necessity. “Everything in life evolves. We went there.”

Gradually, the meters are starting to be replaced in Lévis. Citizens received a letter giving them two choices, either change their device with a smart meter, which is free, or to exercise the option of withdrawal, which costs a $15 one-time fee plus $5 per month expense reports.

So far, 0.5% of people in the province have availed themselves of this second option.

In Quebec, 2.1 million meters have been replaced by smart devices, in all 3.8 million meters are to be changed.

All devices should be replaced for 2018, but the operation will probably end before that date, notes Patrice Lavoie.

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