David Suzuki begins Sask. climate change talks after stirring up political storm

He is perhaps this country’s most iconic environmentalist and today David Suzuki will take his urgent message about climate change to Saskatchewan’s two big universities.

Suzuki reportedly called the premier a 'climate change denier'

David Suzuki spoke at the University of Saskatchewan to a large crowd. (Matthew Garand/CBC)

He is perhaps this country's most iconic environmentalist and today David Suzuki is taking his urgent message about climate change to Saskatchewan's two big universities.

Already, hours before his first lecture at the University of Saskatchewan, the outspoken Suzuki — who never shies away from a fight — brought controversy to the podium.

Suzuki, in Saskatoon for a literary festival over the weekend, took shots at Premier Brad Wall, calling him a climate change denier.
Students and professors at the University of Saskatchewan packed a lecture hall to hear from David Suzuki on Monday. (Matthew Garand/CBC)

The premier took time out from a trade mission to South Korea and China to answer Suzuki's accusation. 

"I guess I am a denier," Wall wrote. 

"I deny the fallacy that a new tax on Canadians whose CO2 emissions are 1.6 per cent of global emissions is the best way for Canada to help fight climate change."

Wall on record for opposing carbon tax

Wall has long been an outspoken critic of the federal government's plan to introduce a carbon tax.

Wall has said this province has a price on carbon on a "de facto basis" because it "sells" the pollution for carbon capture and sequestration. That's his preferred way to respond to climate change.

In fact, in July Wall went a step farther in an interview with CBC News Network's Power & Politics, saying he has already instructed provincial government lawyers to begin preparing for a constitutional challenge in the event the federal government acts unilaterally.

The lectures at the U of S and the University of Regina features not only David Suzuki but also Ian Mauro, a renowned filmmaker from the University of Winnipeg whose latest documentary Climate Change in Arctic Canada explores the impact of extreme weather in the region. 

Climate Change: a Conversation with David Suzuki begins at 1:30 p.m. CST.

Suzuki and Mauro then deliver their message at the U of R at 7:30 p.m. 

With files from Janyce McGregor