When he isn’t too busy saving the planet, famed Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki rescues fellow Canadians as well.
Suzuki was among a group on B.C.’s Peace River on Saturday who were protesting the looming construction of the Site C dam hydro project.
When a canoe capsized and dumped several paddlers in the cold waters, Suzuki’s boat was the first to the scene, and Suzuki himself pulled the paddlers out of the water and to safety. Others helped to flip the canoe over.
“David then jumped into their swamped canoe (bailed out as much water as possible) and paddled, alone, several kilometres down the river to an area called Bear Flats, where he gave the keynote address to hundreds of people who had gathered to oppose the Site C dam,” said Faisal Moola on Facebook, a forestry professor who also works with the David Suzuki Foundation.
Did we mention that Suzuki is almost 80-years-old?
This wasn’t the first experience Suzuki has had on the Peace River with a capsized canoe. In his first protest against the Site C dam 40 years ago, Suzuki capsized his own canoe and almost drowned in the process.
This weekend’s Paddle for Peace water protest featured kayaks, canoes, and other watercraft, with a mission to draw attention to the threat the construction of the dam poses to the Peace River Valley.
The $8.8 billion project comes at another major cost to the environment.
This means the flooding of more than 5,550 hectares of land – of which at least 3,800 hectares is agricultural land – and flood First Nations heritage sites, forcing up to 20 families to move.
The problem is that there seems to be few alternatives, and the dam will bring clean, reliable, and affordable power to the province.
Anyway, back to Suzuki – he’ll never cease to amaze us, making him one of our favourite Canadians.