The debate over keeping whales and dolphins in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium could be put to a public vote this fall if one councillor gets her way, but it’s not clear if the Park Board would endorse the outcome.
“I don’t think it’s constructive to drag everyone into a big debate about this. The Aquarium does great work, we need to support it robustly, and we also want to see what makes most sense based on the evidence,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.
“It’s up to the park board to decide the future of that connection, between the aquarium and Stanley Park, and we’ll leave it in their hands to figure that out.”
Earlier this month, board commissioners Constance Barnes and Sarah Blyth have spoken in favour of removing the whale and dolphin enclosures from the Aquarium. Blyth said the Board has been regularly receiving letters from the public showing concern for the cetaceans.
The motion for a referendum will be introduced to the council on Tuesday.