National Newswatch
National Opinion Centre

In a very testy personal phone call, Justin Trudeau dismissed David Suzuki’s views on the Liberal climate change policy as “sanctimonious crap,” according to Dr. Suzuki. Suzuki revealed the contents of the conversation during an interview on SiriusXM’s “Everything is Political with Evan Solomon.” Suzuki says he fired back at Trudeau, calling him a “twerp.”

According to the renowned scientist, broadcaster and activist, Trudeau called him personally on June 28, 2015 to talk about the Liberal platform on climate change to be revealed the next day. “I didn’t call Justin, he called me,” Suzuki said. “He wanted an endorsement and he wanted to tell me exactly what his program was.”

The program includes support for the Keystone XL pipleline, a rejection of the Northern Gateway pipeline and working with the provinces to establish a cap and trade system.

“I said, ‘Justin, stop it, you’re just being political, you just want to make headway in Alberta,’” Suzuki says he told Trudeau. “You’re for the development of the tar sands, you’re for the Keystone pipeline, but you’re against the Northern Gateway, you’re all over the damn map!”

Suzuki went on to tell Trudeau that he believes that taking the target of a 2 degree rise in temperature seriously means 80% of the oil sands has to stay in the ground. Suzuki believes stopping oil sands development will mean “no debate about pipelines or expanding railways or shipping stuff offshore — none of that comes into it.”

At that point Suzuki says the conversation devolved into a nasty exchange. “He said, ‘I don’t have to listen to this sanctimonious crap. I proceeded to call him a twerp.”

Trudeau ended up getting the support of another very high prolife environmental scientist Wade Davis, who is an honourary board member of the Suzuki Foundation. Davis introduced Trudeau at his Vancouver event the next day.

No Liberal would comment on the exchange, but sources tell “Everything Is Political” that Trudeau was not formally seeking an endorsement, but was merely making a courtesy call to Dr. Suzuki to talk about the plan.

Suzuki says he has never spoken to Thomas Mulcair or Stephen Harper about their plans, but he doesn’t think any of the three major parties are dealing with climate change in a serious way. “My feeling is that none of the parties except for the Greens is really taking it seriously,” Suzuki said.

This wasn’t the only issue Suzuki weighed in on during the conversation. He also said that the debate about the niqab and Stephen Harper’s use of the term “Old Stock Canadians” have troubled him. “The Old Stock sent a shiver up my back,” Suzuki said. He spoke his families experience being interred in camps during the Second World War, along with so many other Japanese Canadians, and couldn’t even vote. “I’ve lived through a time when my Mom and Dad who were born and raised in Canada couldn’t vote. Old stock applies that somehow there is difference if you are a Canadian, that there are differences that matter.”

Suzuki says distinctions like this will bring on divisiveness. “Either we are citizens or we are not,” he said. “It’s very scary to me.”

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