Vancouver City Council rejects whale referendum
People sit and watch the Beluga Whales at the Aquarium in Vancouver, B.C. on Tuesday April 29, 2014. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)
Vancouver City Council on Wednesday voted almost unanimously to reject a referendum on if the Vancouver Aquarium should hold whales in captivity.
The only supporting vote came from Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr, who tabled the motion.
“Of course I’m disappointed,” Carr said in an email. “My motion arose out of the public call for a plebiscite on keeping cetaceans in captivity: over 15,000 people have signed a petition asking us for a referendum ballot at this November’s election.”
Coun. Raymond Louie said he personally is against holding cetaceans in captivity, but didn’t think it is council’s job to interfere with the Park Board’s jurisdiction.
“It’s inappropriate for council to be telling the Park Board what its job should be,” Louie told 24 hours. “They are duly elected and tasked to undertake the work to govern those pieces of land.”
Carr said she put the question forward because only council has the power to put a plebiscite to the public.
Earlier this week, the Park Board voted to examine having cetaceans in captivity.