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David Suzuki endorsement in Green party flyer a mistake, says Elizabeth May

Nov 24 2012

The Green party leader says it was a mistake that a flyer distributed by the Donald Galloway campaign this week said the candidate was endorsed by David Suzuki.

The environmentalist appeared at a Nov. 19 rally that drew more than 1,300 Green Party of Canada supporters in Victoria this week, saying he was asked by the party to attend. He said on stage that it was his first time meeting the candidate in person.

Many interpreted his presence as an endorsement for Galloway, and a door flyer distributed Thursday read that he was "endorsed by David Suzuki."

But when asked by the Times Colonist on Thursday whether he endorsed Galloway or the Green party, Suzuki said: "No."

Green party leader Elizabeth May said Friday she didn't see the flyers until they had been printed.

"That was a mistake, it should have said 'supporters include,' " May said. No other literature or posters used the word endorsed pertaining to Suzuki, she said.

"I've never heard him speak so clearly about support for the Green party in any statements he's ever made as on Monday night in Victoria," May said.

"He did not endorse because he doesn't use the term endorse," she added. "Was he there to support us? Absolutely."

Suzuki also waded into Greater Victoria's contentious sewage-treatment debate in an interview on Thursday.

The issue of the region's $783-million plan to build a secondary sewage treatment plant in Esquimalt has dominated the byelection - and is out of control, May said.

The only candidate to fully support the current plan has been the NDP's Murray Rankin. Liberal candidate Paul Summerville has called it a "billion-dollar boondoggle" and believes ocean currents can continue to disperse the screened effluent, possibly to 2040. Conservative candidate Dale Gann has said he believes in treatment but that the current plan needs a second look.

Galloway's stance has evolved throughout the campaign. On Friday, he and May said they don't want to lose federal funding, but want to find land for a biosolids facility so that sludge is not being pumped 18 kilometres to Hartland landfill.

"It's an enforced limitation on a good plan because they haven't been able to find land yet," May said. "So between now and when shovels hit the ground, we have time to get a much better plan."

Suzuki said Thursday he didn't know enough about the plan for Greater Victoria to comment, but added: "My position is you don't use the ocean as a garbage can."

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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