To: David Turpin, President and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta
David, I understand that the University of Alberta has decided to award an Honorary Degree to David Suzuki.
I have tried over the years to support the University as a whole, the Law School and the Golden Bears Hockey team. In part, I am able to do this because of the support my community provides me, and in part because of my employment in an industry related to the energy industry.
I view this recent action by the University of Alberta as showing a high level of disrespect to this industry, while ignoring its contributions to our Province. Like others, I hope the U of A reverses this action while it can.
A friend recently sent me a note regarding STARS, the Air Ambulance Service that was so quick to assist with the Humboldt tragedy. The corporate sponsors of that service include Shell, TransCanada, Enbridge, Canadian Natural, Crescent Pont, Exxon and many others. I don’t believe those sponsors include the David Suzuki Foundation.
Energy and energy services companies, infrastructure companies, and all the offshoots of these entities, are present and supportive at every philanthropic event I attend. They support our hospitals, our children’s schools and sporting teams, our charities, and our universities. Other entities are noticeably absent.
I am aligned with the people who support my community and my family. I do not want to associate with an institution that is facilitating an attack on this community.
These views are my own, but I will share them with many.
Jeff Lawson is a Principal & Director in the Corporate Finance group at Peters & Co. Limited