UPDATED: Aquarium takes whale fight to court

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
UPDATED: Aquarium takes whale fight to court

A bid by the Vancouver Park Board to restrict the breeding of whales and dolphins in captivity is headed to BC Supreme Court.

A legal challenge was filed this morning after the Park Board passed resolutions last month, it says were designed to add another level of oversight.

But the Aquarium CEO John Nightingale says the changes impact its ability to fulfill its mandate.

“Vancouver Aquarium rejects that a resolution this is a purely political issue, and the resolutions serve no legitimate municipal purpose and go beyond the jurisdiction of the park board.”

Nightingale says they serve no legitimate municipal purpose and are purely political.

“This is in no way saying to the Park Board we’re not working with you anymore its a technical legal question about did the Park Board cross a line with these resolutions.”

The aquarium is also rejecting the suggested oversight committee.

Nightingale says giving the reins to an external group without expertise would jeopardize its standing in the marine science community.

Park Board Chair Aaron Jasper says he’s disappointed but not surprised.

“We will vigorously defend our right and authority,” he says. “”We will proceed with implementing the bylaw changed that we approved, we will proceed with constituting an oversight committee, and we will wait for our day in court to defend out authority as a municipal government.”

Jasper disputes claims the move is “purely political.”


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  1. Had the Parks Board done their due diligence and vetoed this ridiculous request, the taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for the costs to defend their actions. Another waste of the courts time. Who,elects these clowns anyway, PETA…

  2. This a good move. This whole issue has nothing to do with this arrogant Parks Board. It’s good to see more and more successful, long-standing and well-respected organisations standing up to Vancouver City Hall’s pompous windbags. The Parks Board should stick to maintaining and creating active, clean, safe parks. They had no expertise or authority to be judges in moral or ethical issues in the first place.

  3. Throw the Aquarium out of the Stanley Park!

    They are a carbuncle in the Stanley Park meadow.

    The Aquarium has an earthquake backup facility. Give them 30 days notice to move there instead.

  4. The City of Vancouver should be reponsible for only water, sewage, garbage collection and not to solve the world’s problems. Like suing Kinder pipeline is a waste of tax payer’s money.

  5. I support the Parks Board decision. I did not renew my membership at the Aquarium after thinking it was a good idea to take my 2 year old there on rainy days last year. I cannot support the use of mammals for entertainment and do not want to take my son to such things and pretend it’s fine in front of him.

  6. At the rate of ocean destruction one day the only whales to be seen may be the ones in aquariums. At the current rate of over fishing one day our fish meals will only be available from farmed fish(captive). The nature of man is to use and abuse until it’s gone. Our planet would be much better off without us. The 21st century and how far have we really come.