Cetacean breeding ban for Vancouver Aquarium fails to pass at park board

It was a tense meeting last night at the Vancouver Park Board as the controversial issue of cetaceans in captivity was once again on the agenda.

Outgoing park board commissioners fail to pass new bylaw at final meeting

Aurora, a 20-year-old Beluga whale, swims with her calf at the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, B.C., in 2009. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

It was a tense meeting last night at the Vancouver Park Board as the controversial issue of cetaceans in captivity was once again on the agenda.

In July, the Vision Vancouver-dominated board voted to ban the breeding of whales and dolphins in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium, but didn't pass the bylaw amendment before the municipal election earlier this month.

The incoming NPA commissioners, who will dominate the park board in the new year, have already promised to kill the proposal to ban cetacean breeding.

Nevertheless at the outgoing board's last meeting Monday night before the new board takes over next year, outgoing commissioner Sarah Blyth tried to push through a vote on the ban.

"I would like to move a motion that puts the bylaw and the oversight committee structure onto the table," said Blyth.

But NPA commissioner Melissa de Genova, who has since been elected to Vancouver city council, questioned the timing of Blyth's motion.

"Why did Commissioner Blyth not bring this to the board six years ago. Why did Commissioner Blyth not bring this to the board before other motions she prioritized like 'Dude Chilling Park' sign?" asked de Genova.

In the end Blyth's motion was defeated, but the board did pass a motion to require a review of the aquarium's policy of cetaceans in captivity next year.
 

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