Vancouver Aquarium launches legal challenge of cetacean ban
Aquarium says park board does not have the statutory power to enact the ban
The Vancouver Aquarium has launched a legal challenge to overturn the Vancouver Park Board's recent ban on cetaceans.
In a statement issued Wednesday the aquarium said it has applied to the B.C. Supreme Court for a judicial review of the bylaw amendment banning dolphins and whales from the Stanley Park facility.
The aquarium is challenging several aspects of the ban, including the park board's statutory power to enact the ban with a bylaw amendment.
It also challenges the board's refusal to hear aquarium representatives concerning the amendment, the "vague" language of the amendment, its impact on the aquarium's $100 million expansion plan and its impact on the aquarium's marine mammal rescue program.
"The ramifications and impacts of the park board bylaw amendment are so far reaching that they fundamentally change the Vancouver Aquarium's ability to deliver its mission of conserving the world's oceans. As a result, we have no choice but to defend ourselves," said aquarium president John Nightingale in the statement.
Both the park board and the City of Vancouver have been named as respondents, according to the statement. A spokesperson said the park board will provide comment at an appropriate moment.
The legal action is the latest development in the ongoing fight between the aquarium and the Vancouver Park Board
In 2014 the aquarium launched a similar legal action against a park board ban on cetaceans, but that legal action was dropped after the proposed ban was dropped by the new park board elected in the November 2014 civic election.