British Columbia

Vancouver whale, dolphin breeding ban gets last chance with outgoing Park Board

The outgoing park board has one last chance to push through its controversial bylaw banning cetacean breeding at the Vancouver Aquarium, at a board meeting Monday night.

Outgoing board voted in July to ban breeding at Vancouver Aquarium, but failed to pass final bylaw

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)

The outgoing park board has one last chance to push through its controversial bylaw banning cetacean breeding at the Vancouver Aquarium, at a board meeting Monday night.

The Vision Vancouver-dominated board voted in July to ban breeding of whales, dolphins and porpoises — but has not passed the necessary bylaw amendment to bring the new rules into effect. 

Vision lost control of the park board in the civic election earlier in November. The Non-Partisan Association holds the majority on the new board, and plans to drop the proposed ban when its commissioners are sworn in next week.

The NPA doesn't expect the outgoing Vision-dominated council to force the changes through when it considers a staff report on the matter at the meeting.

Re-elected NPA Vancouver Park Commissioner John Coupar says he'll vote to overturn the ban on breeding cetaceans in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium. (CBC)

"I think cooler heads will prevail," said re-elected NPA Commissioner John Coupar.

"I think there should be respect for the fact that there's been an election, so to try and do anything other than accept it as a report at this point is contrary to the wishes of the voters."

Nevertheless, retiring Vision Vancouver Commissioner Aaron Jasper hopes the new board will consider supporting the breeding ban.

In the report, board staff recommend the proposed bylaw go out for public consultation.

With files from Chad Pawson

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