All Politics is Local

Turlay gets his debate on climate change, kind of

At Monday’s citizen forum, four residents used the opportunity to advocate for a climate action plan.

The citizens referred to Bellingham, which recently adopted a resolution to strive for 100 percent renewable energy and asked Vancouver’s council to do the same.

As some may know, Councilor Bill Turlay is a well-established climate change denier, or as he calls it, “the hoax of manmade global warming.” He’s been asking for a debate on the issue since at least 2014.

So when citizens began asking for the city to pass a resolution committing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, to halt construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure and to implement a climate action plan, it was hard for Turlay to say nothing.

First, he asked Sherrie Bush who had just testified to define what she wanted an action plan for.

“On the climate,” Bush said.

Here’s how the rest of that conversation played out.

Turlay: “The climate? You’re going to change the climate? How do you plan on doing that?”

Bush: “I’m not planning on doing it personally alone, but us working together.”

Turlay: “Do you have any idea how much real estate that would take? Do you have any idea there’s not enough rare earth material in this planet to do that?”

At this point, Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle jumped in and told Turlay to let public testimony continue.

This was his reaction.

Turlay climate

Turlay remained silent for the remainder of the citizen forum as two more residents called for climate action plans.

Check out the video below for the full debate, Turlay’s bit begins at 38:17. It may not be the debate he’s asking for, but it’s likely the only debate he will get.

Katy Sword

I cover the city of Vancouver and federal politics. Reach me at katy.sword@columbian.com.

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