The Trial of David Suzuki

 The Trial of David Suzuki
Will a plan to end oil
save Canada or destroy it?
Is Canada’s most trusted scientist talking reason or treason?  

David Suzuki (Toronto, Ontario – October 9, 2013)  One of Canada’s most trusted and respected scientists, Dr. David Suzuki, stands accused of seditious libel on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. A public trial is to take place at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). The reason for this charge? On Wednesday, October 9, on the steps of the Toronto Courthouse, Suzuki announced his Carbon Manifesto - a bold, uncompromising plan that spells out the end of oil and sets a new course for Canada’s sustainable energy future. The Manifesto calls for the end of fossil fuels as a primary energy source; to protect Canada’s Boreal forest and oceans; a move ensuring 70% of the energy we consume is renewable within one generation; a carbon tax of $150 per tonne effective immediately; and that Canadian climate scientists must be able to share their findings uncensored and unimpeded by political or corporate interests.  

Will Suzuki’s Carbon Manifesto save Canada or destroy it? Is he talking reason or treason? Is Suzuki undermining the financial security of the country? Or does the economy and country matter when our planet is turning toxic?

This unique theatrical event, The Trial of David Suzuki, created and produced Laurie Brown, in partnership with David Donnelly of Donnelly Law, will take place in the ROM’s Currelly Gallery.  The mock public trial features real lawyers, expert witnesses, judge and a jury of 12 people who, along with the audience, will vote on the fate of Suzuki. The Defense lawyer is Linda Rothstein, Partner at Paliare Roland Barristers; the prosecution lawyer is Will McDowell, partner at Lenczer Slaght;  David Suzuki is there as himself; and the Bailiff is Laurie Brown. The role of Judge is to be announced. Expert witnesses are business professor, Michael Hlinka and Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Gord Miller. This innovative and dramatic trial will challenge science, law, art—and the audience.  Along with the jury, the audience will listen to the expert testimony and decide if David Suzuki is innocent or guilty, right or wrong.

“Many of us are confused about climate change, and often the conversation on this important subject stalls," says creator, Laurie Brown. “I wanted to create an art piece that catapults the conversation into a new place:  what would happen if Canada did something big to counter global warming?  Like leave oil in the ground?  I want The Trial of David Suzuki to imagine that future for Canadians.”

"This trial is about more than David Suzuki, more than environmentalism in Canada - it is about placing all Canadians in that awkward, difficult position that our policy makers find themselves everyday," says Dave Ireland, Managing Director, Centre of Discovery in Biodiversity.  "The Trial of David Suzuki, in my mind, is about making clear and public choices towards a sustainable future for humans on the planet."

As part of The Trial of David Suzuki, a series of six Pattison posters titled You Be The Judge will be displayed in subway stations across Toronto. Between October and December, these posters will engage the public in conversations about climate change and the views of Dr. David Suzuki. Opposing Views, a shot video mapping conflict perspectives onto the face of Suzuki will also be featured every minute on Pattison’s 60 foot wide video display at Yonge and Edward streets, bringing millions of passers by into this public conversation.

 Tickets for The Trial of David Suzuki are now on sale and priced at $35 students, $45 members and $50 general admission and can be purchased online at or by calling 416 586 8000. The event will be live streamed at

About the Cast

Laurie Brown is a radio host and an advocate for the arts and artists in Canada. David Donnelly is one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers and an award-winning advocate for smart growth. Michael Hlinka is a tenured professor in the Faculty of Business at George Brown College. Will McDowell is a partner at Lenczner Slaght. He has an extensive counsel practice in the areas of defamation, negligence, commercial and public law.  Gord Miller has served as the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario since 2000. Linda A. Rothstein is a managing partner of Paliare Roland, where she practices in the areas of civil and administrative litigation. Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

The Trial of David Suzuki takes place as part of Cape Farewell's Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Exhibition + Festival, a four-month program of satellite events, including music, performing arts, talks and special events.

ROM Contemporary Culture

Carbon 14: Climate is Culture continues on ROM Contemporary Culture’s 2013/14 theme of Climate Change (#ROMClimate). ROM Contemporary Culture has partnered with ROM Biodiversity to encourage conversation and provide insight on this contemporary issue. This year, ROM Contemporary Culture looks at the relationship between nature and culture through the lens of climate change and poses the questions:  How does the landscape change a culture? How does culture change a landscape?  For more information, visit

Cape Farewell

Established by artist David Buckland in 2001, Cape Farewell has successfully bought together artists and scientists to address the realities of climate change and envision creative solutions, showcasing what a resilient and exciting future may look like. Cape Farewell is based in the Science Museum’s Dana Centre in London, UK and its North American foundation is based at the MaRS Centre in Toronto.  For more information, visit



The Trial of David Suzuki, created and produced by Laurie Brown in partnership with Donnelly Law, is presented by Cape Farewell and ROM Contemporary Culture, as part of Carbon 14: Climate is Culture and is supported by: Caroline Birks of Panicaro Foundation and John St. Special thanks to the David Suzuki Foundation.