I feel it is important to share a comment that was made in The Montreal Gazette relating to article, “Lamppost’s stray voltage kills dog”. It’s an important and significant message to send to Hydro-Quebec and the City of Montreal:
“What a terrible tragedy! I don’t think that this issue should be taken any less seriously because it was a dog that lost her life. Certainly it would be terrible if this happened to a child, but the point is that a life was lost and many more affected by electrical work done improperly in a public space. Anyone who has shared their home with a dog knows how much a part of their life these very special animals become, and I feel so sorry for Lily’s family. Would the city respond differently if this had been someone’s child, or will they wait until stray voltage does take a human life before acting to solve this problem? Waiting until spring is unacceptable! Pet owners of Montreal should take action and be heard to ensure that this does not happen again in this city! Following this story in the Montreal Gazette, I was appalled to read the insensitive response of Hydro-Quebec spokesperson Jean-Philippe Rousseau, who dismissed the issue in a very offensive way. I am both saddened and angered by the careless response to this event and strongly urge others in this city to take notice of this tragedy and voice their concern to see the problem of stray voltage addressed before any other lives are affected”. -Jupiter Rising
City of Montreal’s response: “Borough Coun. Marie Potvin said there are plans underway to check all lampposts in the neighbourhood in the spring”. She also explains in a TV interview that the “work was not done correctly”.
Yes, sadly, since “the work was not done correctly” a dog was killed, her family is now suffering a heartbreaking and tragic loss while another dog is injured, and the city believes it’s okay to wait till spring to inspect all other lampposts? Immediately following Sam’s death, Seattle City Light tested all the metal streetlights in its service area and found that 158 of them gave off dangerous levels of electricity. SCL now conducts annual routine contact voltage testing.
If immediate action is not taken to inspect for other possible contact voltage issues, it may be too late. A child, a human, another beloved pet….Ms. Potvin, how will you then sleep at night?
Jean-Philippe Rousseau’s reaction to Montreal’s contact voltage incidences:
“Here in Montreal, one other incident was reported to the press, in February 2009. A woman’s 3-year-old beagle was electrocuted while walking along an icy sidewalk. Hydro-Québec spokesperson Jean-Philippe Rousseau at the time dismissed the possibility of electrocution as a cause, telling the Globe and Mail the utility had too many fail-safe layers of concrete, insulation and ground lines.
Contacted Friday about this latest incident, Rousseau again suggested an autopsy should have been done on the dog.
“In Montreal, this is the first time I’m hearing about this … did he eat something on the ground? A dog sniffs everywhere.”
At any rate, lampposts are the city’s responsibility, he said, not Hydro-Québec’s”.
It is abundantly clear to me that Mr. Rousseau is in complete and total denial of such a problem existing. He says, it’s the “first time he’s heard about this in Montreal”. Does he really believe that Montreal is immune to contact voltage? As stated in the article, another dog was electrocuted in 2009, but Mr. Rousseau didn’t believe the cause was from contact voltage, but instead said, “the utility had too many fail-safe layers of concrete, insulation and ground lines”. What?? Does he even know and understand contact voltage–when, why, where, and how it occurs? Perhaps he can be educated on this serious issue by his neighbor Toronto and learn from Toronto Hydro.