Smart meter spat has St.Laurent woman concerned her power will be cut off

A St. Laurent woman and her physically disabled adult son say they're concerned that their power will be cut off soon because they're refusing to have a smart meter installed due to health concerns.

Marie-Reine Calouche, 60, said she received a notice saying her power would be cut off Monday until she made an appointment to install the meter and be billed $360.

Calouche said Hydro has refused for the past six years to send a letter guaranteeing smart meters are safe.

"We're asking for the 'principe de précaution,' -  the precautionary principle to first test these things long enough because we are worried for the long term effects," said Calouche who contacted CJAD 800 via yourstory@cjad.com.

Hydro-Quebec spokesman Louis-Olivier Batty said sending such letters is not their policy and the information is up on their website.

"(The smart meters) have emission levels 55,000 times less than Health Canada's limits so there's no issue about the safety and health by using our smart meters," said Batty.

Batty said Calouche can opt out, pay extra fees and have a 'non-communicating meter'  - that he said does not emit electromagnetic waves- installed instead.

Calouche said she doesn't want that either because it basically uses the same technology

Since CJAD 800 contacted Hydro-Quebec, Calouche's deadline has been extended by two weeks to find a solution.

Batty said, however, that if Calouche still refuses, they will be obliged to install the meter anyway because the certification for it is expiring.