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Sterk pledges to provide smart meter alternative

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Green Party leader Jane Sterk says her party would provide a no or low cost wired-in smart meter to those with health, security and privacy concerns.

The issue was raised during an hour-long live Twitter Q & A.

The party wants homeowners to be able to switch off the signal emitted by their smart meters.

“We would require BC Hydro provide them with a wired-in smart meter, using fibre optic cable, that has none of the potential negative ramifications to a person’s health,” says Sterk, who admits she hasn’t approached BC Hydro with the idea.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline was a hot topic, with one participant asking Sterk if she supported the idea. “No we don’t support the Kinder Morgan pipeline, think the province should say a definitive no,” tweeted Sterk.

Sterk adds her party would develop a long-term strategy to get off fossil fuels. She says there is a lot of money in renewable energy and the clean tech sector.

During a conversation on News1130 prior to the Q & A, Sterk pegged getting people involved as the most important issue of the campaign.

“Asking the questions of the politicians, telling the politicians the kinds of things they want politicians to be speaking about. So, I think this is a really interesting phenomenon that we’re having this Twitterfest so that we can get to hear directly from the voters,” she says.

The Green Party says if elected, they would introduce something called the guaranteed liveable income, which is aimed at eliminating poverty. Sterk says they would take the multiple programs that provide an income to people living in poverty, look at the multiple ministries that people have to navigate and the cost, and then look at the StatsCan low-income cutoff and strike a commission to look at how they could constitute a guaranteed liveable income.

“The analysis that have been done on how we would do this, the best ones I think have been done are by Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, he suggests that if we were to look at all that bureaucratic cost and if we were to look at all of the current maintenance structures that are related to income security, it may not cost us any more. It’s a different way of approaching poverty. Quite frankly, no other way would work to eliminate poverty,” she explains.

How does Sterk’s twitter performance rate?

OMNI TV political analyst Kim Emerson feels the tweeted questions didn’t really challenge Sterk and the party about some heavy-duty issues.

“Almost every question she dealt with was in her wheelhouse. The thing that I found disturbing is that there were no questions about the biggest cost driver in the province of BC, and that is health care. That takes up a massive portion of the budget in the province.”

He says while she responded extremely well to the tweets, he does say she could have used the occasion to expand on other parts of the party platform, like taxes and health care,  that didn’t come up in any of the questions.

Another question and answer session will be held on Thursday May 2nd, when Conservative Party leader John Cummins joins us for an interview at 7 p.m. and will then connect with people on Twitter.

NDP leader Adrian Dix will join us for a live Twitter chat on Thursday May 9th, beginning at 7 p.m.