Sun News Network booted from David Suzuki speech

David Suzuki. (ÉTIENNE LABERGE/QMI AGENCY FILES)

David Suzuki. (ÉTIENNE LABERGE/QMI AGENCY FILES)

Kris Sims, Atlantic Bureau

, Last Updated: 8:39 PM ET

Fans of David Suzuki who paid $15 for tickets to see the eco-activist speak in Ottawa got a free screening of the theatre of the absurd this week -- organizers threatened to call the cops when Sun News showed up.

The event was announced in the Parliamentary Press Gallery notices, so, Sun News Network reporter Jessica Hume went with cameraman Andrei Filippov to ask Suzuki some questions.

However, Rev. David Illman-White ordered them both to leave the church and cover the event from the sidewalk, despite other reporters being there.

"Out, out, get out," Illman-White said. He also sarcastically remarked "great journalism" when Hume said she would wait until after the event to ask Suzuki questions.

When Hume explained it was an open media event, an organizer from a local bookstore stormed over and ordered them out also, grabbing the camera lens.

"Can someone use their cellphone to call 911? We have media here who will not leave!" the woman who said her name was Lisa shouted at the gathering.

Event moderator and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May swooped in and restored calm.

"Whoa, only Rob Ford calls 911 on the media," she joked before embracing Hume.

"I certainly thought an event at a church sponsored by an independent book store could manage a reporter and a cameraman," May said in an e-mail. "I thought some humour could diffuse the situation. I didn't think twice."

Suzuki eventually emerged from a back room after Sun left the building. His spokespeople did not return calls for comment.

Check out Hume's take on Suzuki here.


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