Families should not have to pay for smart meter debacle

Meters recalled after government fails to do due diligence

The NDP says Saskatchewan people should not have to pay a dollar for government’s smart meter debacle – which was finally halted today after at least eight fires were started by the smart meters or their installation.

“This file has been mishandled by government from the beginning,” said Cathy Sproule, NDP critic for SaskPower. “The government entered into a contract with an American corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and bought more than 200,000 of these faulty units from a manufacturer that has a track record of fires. Not only have we already paid for these smart meters to be installed, now someone will have to pay – and families will have to wait – for them to removed from our homes.”

Sproule said contracts with the American installation and supplier corporations should have a stated clause protecting Saskatchewan from having to pay anything in a situation like this – but the government hasn’t revealed those contracts, to date. Minister Bill Boyd stated Wednesday the government would work with the supplier to try to recoup costs after investigations are complete – a statement Sproule said was nowhere near strong enough.

“Let’s not fool ourselves – when the government says SaskPower is paying, it means Saskatchewan families are paying. It’s not acceptable for people to have to pay for any part of this dangerous mistake, whether we pay now or into the future in the form of higher power bills.”

The NDP is pleased that the meters are finally being recalled, calling it the right thing to do, but expressed disappointment that it took eight fires over the course of weeks before the government addressed this issue for the first time.