VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – People who don’t like them talk about lack of choice, health concerns, and privacy issues. Now, the campaign against BC Hydro smart meters is getting a high-profile ally in renowned BC wildlife artist Robert Bateman.

Hydro is installing thousands of smart meters every day across the province. Two hundred and fifty will be in homes by the end of the month; 1.8 million by the end of 2012.

There’s a vocal movement of people concerned about the effects of the meters’ wireless technology on their health and their privacy. Bateman, who survived a cancer scare in 2002, is among them. He points out there’s no opt-out for BC Hydro customers.

“I believe that’s Orwellian,” he says. “I have choices. I believe in choices. Raising my kids, I always gave them choices. I limited those choices, but I gave them choices. With this smart meter system, there is no choice.”

Bateman chose to limit his exposure to radiation after going though cancer treatment, eliminating or minimizing sources in his home and other areas of his life.

“The sight of the gallows tends to concentrate the mind wonderfully,” quips Bateman. “I have a choice to not have fluorescent lights; I have a choice to not have a cordless phone, to not use a microwave. I have choices to avoid this stuff. If I have to have a smart meter in my home, I have no choice.”

Bateman is speaking out through the Citizens for Safe Technology Society, a group opposed to smart meters and Wi-Fi in schools.

BC Hydro has insisted there are no health concerns associated with the wireless technology used in smart meters and that the radio frequency radiation emitted by them is a mere fraction of that in a cellphone call.

Robert Bateman discusses the lack of choice regarding Smart Meters from ICTV Victoria on Vimeo.