David Suzuki calls on Canada’s collection of celebrity activists for eco-concert tour

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 18: In this handout image provided by Sustainable Living Festival, scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki poses during the Sustainable Living Festival on February 18, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Marianna Massey/Sustainable Living Festival via Getty Images)

Canadian environmental activist David Suzuki is set to launch a cross-country tour to promote protecting the environment and has called on a laundry list of Canadian musicians and celebrities to join in the cause.

The Blue Dot Tour will feature the talents of Neil Young, Margaret Atwood, Feist, Jim Cuddy, Raine Maida and many others, and will cross the country over a two-month period as Suzuki "shares the wisdom of a life full of action and celebrates Canadians who are standing up for the people and places they love”.

The intention of the concert series is to raise support for a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right of fresh air, clean drinking water and healthy food for all Canadians.

At each stop, Suzuki will be joined by a cabal of Canadian wannabe celebrity activists, who - er, sorry; accidentally switched into "Sun News Network mode" for a moment there.

But in seriousness, this lineup is awash with noted targets of right-leaning Canada, singers and celebrities who have made a habit of joining social and environmental causes.

Neil Young has long butted heads with Alberta's oil industry, comparing the destruction of the oilsands with Hiroshima and launching a concert series in protest.

Margaret Atwood was dragged into a spitting contest by Rob and Doug Ford over the value of public libraries, and making environmental activism a key tenet of her writing.

Feist vocally opposed the construction of an Ontario megaquarry, Jim Cuddy echoed Young's criticism of the oilsands and Raine Maida backed the Occupy movement.

These are not folks likely to lure new minds to the environmental protection movement, but they should be a big draw for those who already feel that way.

But it Suzuki who most frequent raises the ire of right-minded opponents, specifically Sun News editorialist Ezra Levant, who has taken joy in clashing with Suzuki and painting him as a rich hypocrite who does not practice the same eco-consciousness that he preaches.

Those allegations received swift rebuke, and fact checking, from the David Suzuki Foundation, but the matter still hangs over the public discourse.

Upon announcing the cross-country Blue Dot Tour, which will make 19 stops between St. John's and Vancouver between Sept. 24 and Nov. 9, organizers were quickly forced to address the carbon footprint it would leave behind.

Communications director Michiah Prull told the Globe and Mail, they were doing everything possible to minimize the environmental impact, but that the cost was justified.

“We believe that [we’re] creating this movement to protect these basic fundamental rights, and if we’re successful in having those rights protected over the long run, that will have a lasting impact that will be far more substantial than this great tour itself,” Prull told the newspaper.

The price of tickets run between $40 and $80, less if you are a student and more if you want the VIP treatment, which comes with premium seats, beverages, "sustainable appetizers" and an invitation to a reception with Suzuki and his guests.

VIP seating at a cross-country concert series calling the protection of fresh air and clean drinking water? I’m breathing easier already.

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