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Park Board delays decision on possible cetacean ban at Vancouver Aquarium

Last Updated Jan 24, 2017 at 7:21 am PDT

(Courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)

Advocates want the issue of a potential whale ban put to a plebiscite in 2018

Vancouver Park Board to re-open cetacean debate in about one month

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It will be at least another month until we hear more from the Vancouver Park Board on whether you should have a say on whether whales and dolphins should be kept in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park.

A motion brought forward last night to request the issue be taken to a plebiscite in the 2018 civic election, was trumped by another motion and members of the public who turned up to hear the decision, were not happy it was bumped from the agenda.

Commissioner Catherine Evans moved to ask staff to come back with a report with more options, and narrowly won majority support. “Although the aquarium will spend a lot of money trying to sway public opinion, we believe that people just know it’s cruel.”

People in the gallery holding signs reading “the public demands a whale referendum” vow to keep pushing the board for change. “There needs to be immediate action and the fact that they keep letting it slide and go to something different is really frustrating,” says one woman.

Vancouver Aquarium CEO John Nightingale attended last night’s meeting, sitting silently through outbursts from the gallery, and he declined to comment to NEWS 1130.

Two beluga whales at the facility died within 10 days of each other back in November which sparked public support for a rethink of captivity practices in Vancouver.