Suzuki sounds off on Premier Wall, climate change and Husky oil spill

By JT Marshall/CKOM Staff
September 18, 2016 - 9:39pm

Canada's best-known environmental activist visited Saskatoon on Sunday.

David Suzuki was the headline author at the sixth annual Word on the Street book and magazine festival.

"I wanted to talk to the people of Saskatchewan who elected Premier Brad Wall," he said. "I hope they have something to say to him after my talk sinks in."

He called Wall a climate change denier.

"I'm shocked Saskatchewan voters elected him to the office," Suzuki said. "Any politician not concerned about climate change shouldn't be elected."

The premier's office said the assertion is absolutely absurd and Suzuki should know better.

But Wall, who's on a trade mission in Asia, said in an email he is a denier, of sorts, when it comes to some views of how to combat climate change.

"I deny the fallacy that a new tax on Canadians whose CO2 emissions are 1.6 per cent of global emissions is the best way for Canada to help fight climate change," he said.

Back at the festival, Suzuki also talked about the recent Husky oil spill.

"There's too much emphasis on keeping pipeline costs down," he said. "You can't have a spill like that and pronounce in days that everything is OK."

Suzuki said the problem is big business dictating government policy in Saskatchewan.

"Whether it's Potash Corp, or uranium–fossil fuels are a big part of this province," he said. "The problem is the way we govern ourselves is all about keeping the economy going and nobody is concerned about the air or the water."

Suzuki also praised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his efforts over predecessor Stephen Harper. 

"Anybody is better than Harper," he said.

"I've told Trudeau if he's serious about his Paris commitments, we can't have any discussion about pipelines, any discussion about expanding the tar sands in Alberta, or any discussion about expanding rail. If we're taking the number seriously then oil should be left inside the ground."

During his talk, eight kids asked environmental questions during the Q & A session.

"Young people are aware because the planet is in deep trouble," Suzuki said.

"Why the hell aren't the elected officials, who are supposed to be looking out for their future, paying attention to what the kids are saying?"


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