David Suzuki apologizes for ‘blown up’ pipelines remark after backlash from Alberta
|Toronto Star 25 Nov 2021 at 16:33|
Edmonton—David Suzuki issued an apology Thursday after he drew the ire of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and others for comments last weekend in which the noted environmentalist remarked that pipelines could start being blown up in the face of climate inaction.
Suzuki made the comments on the pipelines during an interview with CHEK News on Saturday after a protest in Victoria, B.C.
“The next stage after this, there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on,” Suzuki had said.
He subsequently clarified that he didn’t want to see pipelines bombed in a separate media interview with the National Post.
Still, the remark sparked an outcry from Kenney, whose province’s large oil and gas industry has been struggling for years under low oil prices and an uphill battle to get pipelines constructed.
“It’s absolutely an implicit or winking incitement to violence,” Kenney said earlier this week during a press conference.
“It’s like in the gangster movies where they say, you know, ‘nice little pipeline you’ve got there, it’d be a terrible thing if something happened to it.’”
Suzuki’s Thursday apology was posted online and said, in part, that his remarks were “poorly chosen.”
“Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead us to a desperately needed solution to the climate crisis,” he said. “My words were spoken out of extreme frustration and I apologize.”
Tensions have been high over climate change in recent weeks as storms on the East and West coasts of the country have swept through, causing extensive damage to businesses, homes, farms and infrastructure.
“We must find a way to stop the environmental damage we are doing to the planet and we must do so in a non-violent manner,” said Suzuki.