Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
SPOTLIGHT: In early June, the University of Alberta will add yet another honorary degree to David Suzuki’s collection of more than two dozen.
BIG PICTURE: When he spoke at a Canadian junior college in 2012, Suzuki declared: “Young people can’t want the next iPad. That’s just not part of the new future” (my italics).
Smaller, humbler living is necessary to prevent environmental collapse, he insisted. Oh, and money isn’t important. Because it doesn’t make us happy.
So said the celebrity who collected a speaking fee of $30,000 from that educational institution on that occasion.
So said the celebrity who owns multiple homes. In 2013, a newspaper estimated that Suzuki’s principal residence in Kitsilano, British Columbia, was worth $8.2 million, while a second house in the same community was worth $1 million. It further reported that:
Suzuki owns a waterfront property on the Quadra Island area off the B.C. coast…complete with boat dock. The property is valued at $1.1 million.
There’s $10 million bucks right there. Another property, on Nelson Island, is owned jointly by Suzuki and others. According to an explanation on the David Suzuki Foundation website, he bought into it “many years ago with the express purpose of protecting it from development.”
But his portfolio doesn’t end there. As Sheila Gunn Reid explains in this video, Suzuki also owns property in Australia. His autobiography describes how he and his wife purchased an apartment with another couple in 1989 after visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Last year, the UK’s Guardian, reported that he “owns a house” in the same community, Port Douglas. It’s unclear whether these are one and the same, or are separate holdings.
What isn’t in dispute is that while the David Suzuki Foundation laments that “greenhouse gas emissions from aviation continue to grow” at a time “when we urgently need to reduce our impact,” the great man thinks sacrifices are for other people. Page 202 of his autobiography tells us the apartment “represents our commitment to Australia as a second home.”
Your kid shouldn’t have a new iPad, though. Cuz the planet needs saving.
TOP TAKEAWAY: To quote Gunn Reid: “I might take Suzuki more seriously when he starts living like the threat is real” (2:46).
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