Vancouver Aquarium plebiscite rejected by city council

Vancouver residents will not get to vote on whether whales and dolphins should be kept in captivity when they go to the polls in municipal elections this fall.

Defeated motion sought vote to ban whales and dolphins at Vancouver Aquarium

Volunteer observers at the Vancouver Aquarium watch Qila the Beluga. (John Healey/Vancouver Aquarium)

Vancouver residents will not get to vote on whether whales and dolphins should be kept in captivity when they go to the polls in municipal elections this fall.

City council voted nine to one to defeat a motion to put the matter to a non-binding plebiscite.

Green Party councillor Adriane Carr had put forward the motion so the public could decide on the future of the Vancouver Aquarium.

Mayor Gregor Robertson has said he wants whales and dolphin exhibits phased out, but refused to support a referendum.

The Vancouver Aquarium insists that keeping cetaceans plays an essential role in marine conservation efforts.

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