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.