On That Zombie Suzuki Resignation Story

The Globe:

Canada’s most famous environmentalist, David Suzuki, says he left the board of his charitable foundation to avoid being a lightning rod for criticism and government attacks that would undermine its work.

Still, Peter Robinson, who is the head of the David Suzuki Foundation, said the group is facing a “chill” that is leading it to pull back from important environmental debates lest it be accused by the federal government of exceeding its charitable mandate.

Is Suzuki a new, very high-profile casualty in the asymmetrical Harpercon war on non-profit environmental advocacy orgs?

Not so fast:

In fact, Suzuki’s departure from the foundation that bears his name had nothing to do with the federal government’s latest attack on charities opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline.  How do I know this?  It happened during the summer of 2011.

Oops. Not so fresh a scoop, izzit?

Look, I’m sure there will be many more prominent resignations from charitable green outfits to come in the near future; reanimating out of context zombie #elxn41 controversies is stupid.

A few more numbers to consider

by matttbastard

Graham Johnston writes in comments:

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government proposes reducing Canada’s greenhouse gases and air pollution by 20 percent of 2006 levels by 2020. By 2015 he claims the anticipated benefit to Canadian citizens will be that 1,200 fewer citizens will die from air pollution and there will be 1,260 fewer hospital admissions and emergency room visits. Sounds impressive.

In mid-August, 2008 the Canadian Medical Association released a comprehensive report on air quality in Canada that found, in part, that more than 21,000 people will die prematurely in Canada this year from the effects of air pollution. Some 2,500 of them (us!) will die because of “acute, short-term exposure” and of that number, 25 will be under the age of 19 years.

Further, in 2008 there will be over 9,000 hospital visits, 30,000 emergency department visits and 620,000 doctor’s office visits due to air pollution.

The CMA estimates that by 2031, almost 90,000 Canadians will have died from the acute short-term effects of air pollution. The number of deaths, due to long-term exposure, will be over 700,000 – the population of Quebec City. The economic costs of air pollution in 2008 alone will top $8 billion. By 2031, they will have accumulated to over $250 billion.

Any politician who would turn a blind eye to such a public health crisis while allocating billions of dollars to military spending to protect the health and security of citizens of another country deserves our contempt. Either Harper is out of touch with the reality of the air pollution crisis in Canada, or he just doesn’t give a damn about the health and welfare of Canadians. Either way, he should be sent packing on Election Day. Newfoundland’s ABC mantra of “Anything But Conservative” is beginning to resonate.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers