David Suzuki in St. John’s for climate change event

Andrew Robinson
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Film on impact in Atlantic Canada to precede panel discussion

Canada’s most well-known environmental activist will be among those taking part in a panel discussion tonight in St. John’s following the screening of a documentary film focused on climate change’s impact in Atlantic Canada.

David Suzuki

David Suzuki, a scientist, author and retired academic who has hosted CBC Television’s “The Nature of Things” for more than 30 years, is touring Atlantic Canada along with filmmaker Ian Mauro, who helped create the film “Climate Change in Atlantic Canada.”

Tonight’s event is taking place from

7-9:30 p.m. at Gower Street United Church. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Newfoundland and Labrador Environment Network.

“When Dr. Suzuki found out about Dr. Mauro’s documentary, he was really enthused and interested in the subject ... especially in that Dr. Suzuki lives on the coast (in British Columbia) and he’s quite aware of the impact of climate change,” said Jean-Patrick Toussaint, a science project manager with the David Suzuki Foundation based in Montreal.

He, too, will be a part of the panel that follows the movie screening.

While Toussaint expects people in Newfoundland and Labrador may already be aware of climate change’s impact on coastal communities, it’s hoped they are also interested in hearing about solutions to dealing with climate change that are out there.

“Our idea, too, is to also convey what’s being done on such an important issue that affects all, especially in the Maritimes or people in the Atlantic Provinces,” he said.

Toussaint’s own work has focused on the potential for oil development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract oil has been a particularly hot topic in western Newfoundland.

Black Spruce Exploration wants to set up a fracking development on the west coast.

However, Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley announced earlier this month that an indefinite moratorium will be in effect until a thorough review and public consultations occurs in relation to the practice of fracking.

According to Toussaint, a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made it clear human activities are having an impact on climate, with the burning of fossil fuels foremost amongst such contributing activities.

“We know that we no longer can do the business as usual scenario, otherwise we’re going to go into climate scenarios that are going to be very hard for us to sustain the way of living that we have been blessed with,” he said.

“The issue of exploring oil and gas in the (Gulf of) St. Lawrence in particular, those reserves are not proven yet, and this is exactly the kind of oil and gas (exploration) that could exacerbate our climate situation.”

With documented cases of warming oceans and melting glaciers contributing to a rise in sea levels, Toussaint said coastal communities will have a lot to think about.

“For the coastal dwellers, this is an issue that’s very real and currently happening,” he said.

“We need to adapt. We need to cope with it, and we also need to avoid the worst of it.”


Organizations: Gower Street United Church, Newfoundland and Labrador Environment Network, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Montreal.He Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Provinces

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Recent comments

  • alison stanford
    December 04, 2013 - 14:32

    Read the comments, can't you people see the postive impact that david is having on the world? Why do you all have to be so negative! We need leaders like David in the World to create some form of change and impact for the good of society. So what he has a big house, lots of kids! Look at the Big Picture! Our earth is dying!

    • Stan
      August 19, 2015 - 18:42

      What Einstein said about Ghandi can be said of David Suzuki, “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.` I like to assume that the Spirit of Nature is on his side. Those without a true spirit are not. `Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.`` - Einstein. Ode to the hearts that are good like Alison which is very good. Ode to her Spirit!

  • Al Bore
    November 27, 2013 - 10:58

    REAL progressives doubt, question and challenge ALL authority especially ones that condemn the entire planet and billions of children to a climate crisis. You remaining climate blame believers are dishonest in believing science has a consensus of an inevitable crisis when they have agreed on nothing beyond just "could be" a crisis" so it's as if you wanted this misery to have been real for billions of helpless children. Why? If 30 years of science's consensus of "maybe" is good enough to condemn your own children we can agree to disagree but you can't keep misquoting science saying they had a consensus. A consensus of "maybe" is a consensus of nothing but if 30 more years of needless panic is what you want why don't you just vote conservative as well? And get up to date: *Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bankster-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by trustworthy politicians.*

  • JT
    November 25, 2013 - 09:15

    Suzuki and Gore are nothing more than grandstanding hypocrits. Both have a "carbon footprint" many times larger than the average Canadian family, with multiple large homes. When I see these two living in a cave, I may take them seriously.

  • James Lane
    November 25, 2013 - 08:28

    The world's most well-known environmental activist. Do you wonder why? Now that his age is getting up there, he's in the closing stages, he wants to be more active than just education. Your little digs at him in an online article will have no effect on his lifetime works. Live with it!

  • Debbie Welton
    November 24, 2013 - 16:12

    I met him today he happened to stop where I work; was happy to meet him....although could not think of his name, I knew who he was

  • Joe
    November 24, 2013 - 08:22

    Even an ex-smoker can talk about the bads of smoking, if in fact what you are saying is fact. It's about the climate guys, where you and I live, get pass the distractions.

  • meme mine
    November 23, 2013 - 12:53

    Please stop scaring our kids please, no, wait, never mind, even they are laughing at you Dave. Moderator, get over it, it's an opposing view.

  • Jim Walleye
    November 23, 2013 - 12:45

    Hypocrite? Hows his air miles How many vechiles does he own How many Properties does he own? His carbon foot print is more in one month than most of us in 5 years Co-owns the property with an oil company, Kootenay Oil Distributors Ltd. He has five children. It’s a blessing. But then why does he think other people should have fewer kids? Made millions from the environment its a business to him nothing more Hey, why doesn't want a unscripted interview you know a good ol one on one with no premeditated subject line, You know answer questions about the real you, Hypocrite??? Not saying he is i'll let you judge

  • saelcove
    November 23, 2013 - 10:20

    Check out the interview he did in Australia they made a fool out of him,did you know the he worked with his dad, guess what he fired him called him a failed scientist