Canada’s most famous environmentalist was in Saint John Tuesday as part of a national campaign to enshrine environmental rights into the Constitution.
David Suzuki says he believes most Canadians support the idea and the tour is designed to ignite grassroots support.
Suzuki is now 78-years-old and says this is his last national tour.
The Blue Dot Tour includes 20 stops from St. John's to Vancouver. He’s joined by guests like Margaret Atwood, Neil Young and wildlife artist Robert Bateman.
Suzuki said he's seen a lot of social progress over the years.
“In 1969, it was illegal to be gay in Canada,” he said.
He said now's the time to enshrine basic rights to clean air, soil and water, into Canada's constitution.
“The response we have received already in Atlantic Canada has been overwhelming,” he said. “And I'm certain it's going to be the same in Saint John.”
Suzuki congratulated David Coon on winning the first Green seat in New Brunswick's legislature last week.
But he said the issue needs to be one everyone tackles.
“The thing I hate about a Green Party, is that -- I mean, thank God they're in, because they're going to raise a lot of issues, but when there is a Green Party, the other parties act as though the environment is their issue. The environment should be part of everybody's platform.”
Suzuki said we get overwhelmed with the economy
Suzuki has spoken out many times saying things are getting worse, not better.
“We get overwhelmed with the economy, the economy, and we're in trouble and blah, blah, blah. But Canadians understand very strongly. Over 90 per cent will say nature is vital to who we are,” he said.
Although Suzuki spent the day Tuesday in the land of Canada’s largest oil refinery, he said the future is in renewable energy.
He’s not confident Saint John will be the end point for the East West pipeline.
“We're a long way from having this as the end of a pipeline coming from Alberta. And I think there's going to be a lot of discussion about that,” he said.
Tuesday is the last date for the Blue Dot Tour in Atlantic Canada. It wraps up November 9 in Vancouver, B.C.