Regional board briefs

News from the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen board meeting of August 7

  • Aug. 9, 2014 8:00 p.m.

Smart meters  under attack again

Oliver rural Director Allan Patton would like the regional district board to meet with Fortis representatives to discuss the smart meter program.

Patton avoided the topic of electro magnetic radiation, citing instead recent concerns over smart meters in Saskatchewan, where smart meters have been blamed on several residential fires.

“I just built a new home, and I don’t want it to burn down,” Patton said.

Fortis’ smart meter program would see smart meters installed throughout the South Okanagan and Similkameen valleys in 2015.

Area “D” Director Tom Siddon also noted concerns in other jurisdiction with smart meters delivering inaccurate hydro useage and over billing.

“We should be cautious, and asking questions,” he said.

It was also noted in discussion that there were several smart meter manufacturers, producing instruments of varying quality, some of which was questionable and likely contributing to the problem.




Recycling rules resulting in confusion, less recycling

Summerland Director Janice Perrino is concerned about Multi Material BC recycling changes introduced in May to the regional district.

She has discovered certain plastic bags are not being recycled in the program, for economic reasons, using sandwich bags as an example.

“Grocery bags are okay, but other bags aren’t,” she said, “it’s causing real confusion. I’m afraid it will turn people off recycling.

“We have to make it easier – if people stop recycling their plastic, it ends up in the landfill, forever – we have to make it easier, and MMBC is not making it easier.”




Director protests plan to renovate regional district headquarters

Area “D” Director Tom Siddon protested a Corporate Services Committee recommendation  allocating $56,000 for a structural report and design for regiona district headquarters on Martin Street in Penticton.

Calling the plan to refurbish existing office space “not a thoughtful review of options,” Siddon said a proper real estate assessment was not done, making cost comparisons between renovating and relocating inaccurate.

“I fix old cars that cost more all the time,” Siddon said, “I consider it very unwise to pour away good money after bad. It’s irrepsonsible, and the board should give this serious reconsideration.”

An alternative motion to refer the matter back to staff was not supported by the board, who voted in favour of the original motion.




Carpool service supported

The Regional Board is supporting services by allocating $1000 from the 2014 Climate Action budget. is a business supported and funded by the Western Canadian communities to host, manage and coordinate the offering of carpool services in participating communities. The carpool service is available throughout the South Okanagan and offers a free service to match drivers with riders wishing to share a trip, with a focus on work and school commuting. Further information can be found at