From The Gazette

Ste. Anne de Bellevue

John Abbott administrators refute allegations made by Sun News over David Suzuki’s visit

  • Dr. David Suzuki at John Abbott College on Oct. 23, 2012.
    Dr. David Suzuki at John Abbott College on Oct. 23, 2012.
    Photo credit: John Kenney, The Gazette

John Abbott College denies allegations by Sun News commentator Ezra Levant that David Suzuki requested female-only bodyguards for his visit to the college last October.

Levant lashed out at the environmentalist this week during his controversial week-day show The Source, saying Suzuki had requested female-only “escorts” for his visit and that his request bordered on “creepy”. Levant also called Suzuki a ”hypocrite” for accepting a $30,000 speaker’s fee for the appearance while at the same time speaking out against rampant consumerism.

Levant said he got his information from emails he said were written by John Abbott officials about Suzuki’s visit. He said he obtained the emails through access-to-information requests.

The statement issued by the college on Wednesday reads: “To set the record straight regarding Dr. David Suzuki’s visit to our campus October 24, both male and female students escorted him throughout a full day and evening of activities in order to facilitate his movements throughout our campus. Those students, all of whom were chosen for their professionalism, were part of our Police Technology program.

“There was no rider in (Suzuki’s) contract specifying the gender or dress code of those assisting him throughout the day. The negative comments and innuendoes made are demeaning to those students and to the college and are the result of the misinterpretation of emails exchanged between colleagues.”

The statement said Suzuki’s fee was in line with his full day of activities, which included a speech before 1,600 students, streamed live on the Internet to 13,000 students at schools in the Lester B. Pearson School Board and followed by a question-and-answer period, his appearance at the official opening of the campus’ Science and Health Technologies Building and his keynote speech given during a gala fundraiser that evening, attended by the college foundation’s benefactors.


  1. 30k …+…..Who didn’t see this coming !!!… Not to worry their in a Union .. and your paying for it !!.. Has corruption reached the end of the island >?

  2. Corruption? I’m not sure that word means what you think it does.

    Kim Cattrall apparently charges $50K USD for a speech (not a day, a speech), know who I’d rather listen to (hint, it’s not someone famous for a TV show about NYC).

    Here’s a list of people who charge around 30K for a speech:, here’s a list of other speakers, by fee:

    So basically the issue that you have, De I’ile, is Suzuki, and unions and, it would appear, basic grammar.

    • By Correction

      “So basically the issue that you have, De I’ile, is Suzuki, and unions and, it would appear, basic grammar.”

      Not to be nit picky, but should you have said:

      …the issues you have, De l’ile, are about Suzuki, unions, and basic grammar (as would appear).

  3. Mr. Suzuki is retired. He is about 77 years old. He is a travelling speaker (freelancer, I assume). The mention of unions is totally irrelevant.

    Ezra is jealous. He gets only $10,000 a pop. So he is also an hypocrite according to his own reasoning.

    He made this up from A to Z.

  4. Just how exactly are they refuting the rider in the contract when Ezra has copies of the emails and letters sent referring to “female ladies”. Either Suzuki’s contract called for them or did the school willing offer them up? And why would anyone believe this was for “security” reasons? If Suzuki needed protection from being harassed wouldn’t a professional company be more appropriate?

  5. …………..Ezra Levant would die for a $30,000. appearance fee. He is just crying like a baby because, in his wildest dreams, that will never, ever happen. So, instead he just plugs along over there at Fox Lite in all his ridiculous puffed up peacock splendour in the hopes of riling the masses, to write endless words of anger and disdain.
    Hah…….and I got suckered in again.

  6. By solenadon

    If I had to choose between St Ezra of the Stretched Assumption and Suzuki and the College, I’m on Suzuki’s/College’s side.

    For those of you who point to “emails” displayed by Ezra…is there proof that they actually came from the college? Or were they emailed by Ezra’s “supporters” to make it look like they were emails from the college?

  7. So Ezra Levant and Sun News use the Freedom of Information Act to get documents which support precisely what he said on his show. But the Leftist nitwits commenters on here prefer to remain in a state of denial and assume … what … that the documents Levant provided were forged by him and his staff? Please!

  8. @solenadon If you question the authenticity of the emails then maybe you should make a Freedom of Information request at the college for the emails and see for yourself.

  9. It is utterly disgusting that John Abbott College would pimp out their female students to satisfy the basic instincts of this old creep. Even more disgusting are the female apologists on the comments section, who I am sure would pimp out their teenage daughters to Suzuki to be part of the cool “green” crowd.

  10. By Political Junkie

    The school’s response does not refute Levant’s claim that the school willingly complied with a request to provide Suzuki with attractive girls as “escorts” and to facilitate a meeting among Suzuki and the girls at Suzuki’s hotel.

    Why are people nattering about speaker’s fees rather than the school pimping for Suzuki?

  11. Bill, whoops I mean David should not have banned the reporter from his event this week. I would never have watched the video or questioned his “hero” status. Though perhaps the “escorts” is take the wrong way , what out rages me is the invoice to the school of 30k (which should cover all costs) and then all the extras. If it was a senator ordering OJ we would be building a bonfire.

    Where did the monies for his talk come from ? The public purse. The school receives funding from government in any manner that goes into their general accounts, so part of that goes to his fees. Unless the students paid out of their own pocket the public paid for his expensive tastes. A hotel for the day is 120 at a best western

  12. Let me guess… this is a public school and it was paid for by our tax dollars. Oh well. If the school wants to pimp out their students I can they can if the students are willing.

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