A Vancouver city councillor appears to be in an imaginary competition of who can create the most extreme “climate emergency” policy.
“There was a new BC Zero Carbon Step Code which is in fact – which was inspired by the progressive nature of a Vancouver building bylaw on achieving net zero homes.” said Green Party member and city councillor Adriane Carr.
“So the province has actually followed us and it’s now in the lead. The motion I have will put us in sync with the high step in that step code again, putting us in a leadership position. If we don’t do that we turn from a leader to a laggard.”
There has been a massive push from climate change extremists in the United States calling for the banning of fossil fuels including the use of natural gas for heating space and hot water and rapidly started to include all gas hook-ups.
The climate alarmism has been spilling over the border into Canada and popping up in a few city councils pushing extreme climate policies. While over the decades there has already been a natural shift towards cleaner energy, councillor Adriane Carr pushed forward a motion that calls to ban all gas infrastructure under the guise of banning gas stoves and fireplaces.
The current policy in Vancouver bans natural gas for space and hot water heating hook-ups in new developments “but still allows gas infrastructure” reads Carr’s motion.
Carr also wants city stuff to prep up policies and timelines for existing buildings to be renovated to reduce their emissions including “requirements to phase out as quickly as possible the use of gas for cooking and fireplaces” despite no data or studies about the unintended consequences or cost and no public consultations.
Last year Carr tried to get the city to donate nearly $1 million of taxpayers money to an anti-oil activist group.
Carr said “the science” shows we need extreme policies to fight against climate change.
“FortisBC agrees that immediate action on climate change is critical. However, if passed, this motion will block access to lower-carbon energy solutions today (like Renewable Natural Gas) and impede achieving climate action goals with future low-carbon energy solutions such as hydrogen,” said FortisBC spokesperson Diana Sorace in an email in response to the motion.
“Without access to the gas distribution system, the City is limiting residents and businesses to only one main system for all its energy needs. If approved, this motion will deny residents energy choice, increases costs, and erode affordability.”
Carr was grilled on government overreach telling people how to cook their food taking away their choice to have a BBQ and encroaching on individuals cultures that cook over an open flame. Carr referenced a couple celebraty cooks of Asian and South Asian decent that use electric methods and asserting no one needs to have BBQ.
Another speaker called in and slammed Carr’s motion for not taking into account rolling brown outs in some states in the U.S. with extreme climate policies clamping down on dependable energy.
FortisBC said last year that it would get 100% of its gas supply from renewable sources for all new houses built in the province. It also stated that it is on track to exceed its target of having 15% of its gas supply come from renewable sources by 2030, with a goal of reaching 75% by 2050.
Instead of allowing such gases to escape into the atmosphere, renewable gas sources include absorbing and digesting methane emitted by organic waste in landfills. The City of Vancouver and FortisBC have partnered to expand the renewable gas facilities at the Vancouver dump in Delta.
The motion was crushed in its original form and passed with amendments made.
The original motion is in two parts:
- Report back to Council as soon as possible on a plan to update the Vancouver Building Bylaw (VBBL) for new residential buildings, expanding the requirement of zero emission space and water heating in new residential buildings to include no gas hooks-ups for any purpose including cooking and fireplaces to align the VBBL with the Zero Carbon
Performance step of the BC Zero Carbon Building Step Code.
- Include in future reports, policies and timelines related to zero emission retrofits of existing buildings, requirements to phase out as quickly as possible the use of gas for cooking and fireplaces
The blanket ban on gas infrastructure was blocked by Ken Sims ABC majority citing concerns raised by community members and residents statements.
Vancouver City Councillor Montague labelled Carr’s gas infrastructure ban motion as “government overreach and scope creep.” He said the government shouldn’t be encroaching into peoples homes telling them how to cook their food or deny them their choice to have a BBQ.
“One of the things I wanted to highlight was just government overreach and scope creep.” stated Montague adding “Telling people what to they can do in their own homes. How they can cook their own food. I think we start to dive into places government shouldn’t be.”
“half the city of Vancouver is of South Asian or Asian decent”
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim didn’t seem to really care about all individuals having a choice of how they would like to cook their food but just “certain cultural groups” as he focused on it through an “equity” lens.
“We talk about equity diversity and inclusion and taking away the ability or individuals of certain cultural groups to preform one of then most basic functions. Sim said Making their own culturally appropriate foods. to me doesn’t sit very well.” said Vancouver Mayor Sim.
Sim didn’t agree with the original version of the motion but he was in favour of the amended version.
- Report back to Council as soon as possible on a plan to update the Vancouver Building Bylaw (VBBL) for new residential buildings to adopt the recently accounted top step of the BC zero carbon step code to align with the Provincial Government, Metro Vancouver, and other local government leadership in BC.
- FURTHER THAT consideration be given in the plan to equity impacts that may unintentionally and unfairly affect the city’s cultural and equity-denied groups.
While the amendment wants public consultation on the matter and removes the baked in blanket ban on gas infrastructure, it still includes forming a plan to bring new building codes in line with the provincial BC zero carbon step code. In 2024 the province will be adding tighter regulations and restrictions to the BC zero carbon step code.