Despite waning interest in Canadian scientist David Suzuki, wherever he goes, people seem to bend over backwards to keep him happy.
The fruit fly biologist did a speech on climate change at the University of Saskatchewan last September as part of a miniature university tour, one year after he went across the country stumping for Leadnow’s anti-Stephen Harper campaign.
Suzuki charged the school $2,500—a sharp decline from previous addresses that have run over $30,000 each. Whether that reduction is due to generosity or supply and demand I can only guess.
Looking at emails among school officials about the appearance, which I obtained under access to information, Suzuki’s tendency to be “particular” was referenced.
“I have spoken with a rep with Heritage Group who distributes Suzuki’s books,” wrote one school official to the woman coordinating the event. “She spoke of how ‘particular’ Suzuki can be with events…. If Suzuki is unhappy for some reason, she said we can at least fall back on having done what his publisher told us to do.”
I’m well aware of how particular he can be, having seen Ezra Levant’s report a few years ago looking at documents from another Canadian post-secondary institution which had been required to supply Suzuki with well-dressed female bodyguards (plural) during the duration of his visit.
That might explain why, in another section of the documents, Suzuki’s assistant asked to speak to an organizer by phone to hammer out what media would be able to cover the event rather than put anything in public documents.
Suzuki has the right to charge whatever the market will bear for his speeches, and Dr. Diva—David, rather—Suzuki, can be as particular as he’d like about how these events go down, but he isn’t Van Halen.
I just wish Canadians would stop treating him as such.