Smart meter opponents rally against Brocklehurst cell tower

Alarmed by a cellphone tower about to be activated in a Brocklehurst neighbourhood, opponents of smart meters are rallying again Sunday.

The Telus tower, approaching completion at Kamloops Full Gospel Tabernacle on Tranquille Road, will serve as an information collector for smart meter and cellphone signals.

Those opposed to the installation include some neighbours already convinced that electromagnetic radiation from smart meters, as well as the cumulative effect of other radio-frequency technology, is making them gravely ill.

"That is what is affecting me already," said Judy Nelson, a nearby resident.

Nelson, 68, said she was diagnosed with "environmental illness" by a Kelowna physician. She has noticed worsening symptoms over the past four years, including heightened blood pressure, a burning sensation on her skin and protruding veins.

"I can go to Salmon Arm, where (smart meters) are not installed, and almost feel normal. I did not realize I would be affected to this degree. I just feel it will be the end of me unless I can move, and where is that?"

Catherine Howcraft, who lives on Singh Street, less than two blocks from the tower, will be protesting as well. She said her health is already compromised by diabetes and that she can't sleep properly unless she goes camping away from radio-frequency signals.

"I don't understand why we have no say," Howcroft said. She believes the majority of B.C. municipalities were right to vote for a moratorium on the installation of smart meters. "It's just precautionary. This is where our City has let us down."

Health Canada maintains there is scientific consensus that radio-frequency exposure from cellphone towers is well below its exposure standards, too low to cause adverse health effects.

Trudy Frisk, a member of the local smart-meter awareness group, contends that Health Canada has no in-house expertise and instead relies on industry research to draw its conclusions.

Frisk described Sunday's gathering as an information picket.

"I've been told that this is what's going on in cities across the country. It's an ongoing concern and for us and it's an educational thing. It's a health concern."

The rally takes place at 10 a.m. next to the church property.

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