Marine mammal activists say they are against the chair of the Vancouver Park Board’s decision to set the ball rolling on a referendum on the keeping of cetaceans in the Vancouver Aquarium.
Chairperson Sarah Kirby-Yung said at the last park board meeting that Vancouverites should have a say on the policy following the death of two beluga whales.
But David Isbister, with Liberate GVZoo Animals and co-organizer of a rally which took place at the Aquarium earlier Sunday, says the notice of motion was disingenuous.
“For her to suggest that the reason why she’s putting the plebiscite out is to have a conversation around it, we don’t feel like that is an actual action. In fact that action is almost two years away.”
Isbister says there is too much ambiguity surrounding the plebiscite and whether or not it would be binding.
“Plebiscites, historically, are a way to defer action so we’re against the plebiscite. What we asked for at the Park Board meeting was an oversight advisory council and a moratorium on cetacean captivity that moves towards an outright ban.”
Over 60 people gathered at Vancouver Aquarium calling for the centre to empty their beluga whale tanks for good.