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Alberta Premier Kenney, NDP MLA condemns comments about pipelines made by David Suzuki

EDMONTON –

Alberta’s prime minister spoke to David Suzuki on Tuesday because of remarks the environmentalist recently made about exploding pipelines.

On Saturday, Suzuki told CHEK News in Victoria that, “There will be pipes blowing up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s happening.”

CHEK issued an Extinction Rebellion protest at the time and reported that Suzuki did not elaborate further on that comment.

“It was purely an act of tacit or winking, inciting violence,” Jason Kenney alleges at a press conference on Tuesday.

“It’s like in the gangster movies, where they say you know, ‘The great little pipe you’ve got there, it’s going to be a terrible thing if something happens to it.”

The David Suzuki Foundation Twitter account confirmed the comments on Monday, but has a different interpretation of what he meant.

“We’ve reached out to David: he has confirmed that this comment is NOT a direct threat to destroy fossil fuel infrastructure,” the tweet said.

“Instead of prioritizing an immediate transition away from the fossil fuels that fuel these crises, the BC government is delving into the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, including LNG plants and pipeline David’s comments reflect the growing frustration of those realizing this, it continued.

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Kenney asked Suzuki to withdraw the application and apologize in full.

“It’s time for him to be accountable in my opinion,” the prime minister said.

“I can imagine some green, young, over-caffeinated extremists will hear in St David’s words a way to rationalize violence in the future.”

During the press conference, Kenney also read some of Suzuki’s previous comments regarding immigration and Stephen Harper, and criticized CBC for continuing to work with him.

Alberta’s opposition NDP also denounced Suzuki’s comments on Tuesday.

“These claims are risky, useless and dangerous. We condemn them,” MLA Irfan Sabir told the legislature.

He said governments must respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the right to protest, but citizens must also respect the rule of law and not threaten or commit acts of violence.

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On Monday, Suzuki told the National Post that he does not support pipeline bombing.

CTV News Edmonton reached out to the David Suzuki Foundation on Tuesday night in response to Kenney’s comments but no one was available for an interview.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for one of the groups at Saturday’s protest defended what Suzuki said, in an interview with CTV News Edmonton.

Zain Haq told Extinction Rebellion Canada: “We don’t believe he is inciting violence.

“It’s clear that people are becoming more desperate and have a clear escalation plan, even though they’re not violent.”

The UCP launched a petition in the legislature on Wednesday condemning Suzuki’s comments and any threats to destroy energy infrastructure.

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