VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Former Nature of Things host David Suzuki says he’s stepping down from the board of his foundation.

In a letter posted on the David Suzuki Foundation website, the environmentalist writes, “I have reached a point in my life where I would like to consider myself an elder. I want to speak freely without fear that my words will be deemed too political, and harm the organization of which I am so proud.”

“I am keenly aware that some governments, industries and special interest groups are working hard to silence us,” he adds. “I remain one of its most active volunteers and committed major donors. This way I can fulfill my personal mission and the Foundation can continue to build on its inspiring work.”

Suzuki used the word bullying to describe how the government is trying to silence him for speaking out against Enbridge’s proposed $5.5-billion Northern Gateway Pipeline.

Suzuki confirms he will step down immediately.

The David Suzuki Foundation was formed on September 14, 1990. It has offices in Vancouver and Montreal, as well as staff in Ottawa and Toronto.