Noted biologist and enviromentalist David Suzuki has been awarded the city of Vancouver’s top honour.
Councillor Adriane Carr says a big part of the decision to present him the “Freedom of the City” award was his commitment to Vancouver.
“He could live anywhere, but this is the place that he loves. The people who have come before him with these kinds of honours are those committed individuals too who have chosen to make Vancouver their home. To invest here, to put their time and effort into making this city a better place.”
Carr says Suzuki’s leadership on environmental issues was also a factor, with the city pursuing its ambitious “greenest city” agenda.
It marks just the 88th time the award has been given out — and puts Suzuki in the company of leading Vancouverites like Rick Hansen, homelessness activist Judy Graves, Arthur Erikson and Jimmy Pattison.
The City began honouring individuals with the Freedom of the City Award in 1936.
Recipients of the award are recognized during a special ceremony at Council, which consists of the reading and presentation of a framed scroll, the Freedom Medal, and a decal that permits free parking at City parking meters.
Recipients have their names inscribed in the Book of Freedoms and are entitled to be called Freeman of the City of Vancouver.
Councillor Adriane Carr says it was an easy decision — given the city’s environmental goals.
“You can’t get anyone more green than Dr. David Suzuki. He’s the person who most people around the world think of as the champion of the environment.”
Carr says Suzuki’s efforts have raised the city’s profile — while inspiring people globally.
Members of City Council nominate individuals for the award. According to the Vancouver Charter (Section 205), these nominations must be approved by unanimous vote of Council.