Group seeks voice in Calgary's shark fin ban task force
A group representing some members of Calgary's Chinese community says it's being shut out of a city task force studying a proposed ban on shark fins.
Ed Tam, a spokesman with the Coalition for Accountable and Transparent Governance, says members don't like how the debate is being framed, nor how the bylaw is being formed.
Tam says some Chinese-Calgarians have been unfairly accused of supporting shark finning, where fins are removed from live sharks — a practice banned in many countries and not supported by his group.
CTAG claims the vast majority of their members acquire shark fins through legal and ethical sources where finning is not involved.
"I’d like to ask [the task force] to be open minded, to listen to both sides of the story. Let us talk to them face-to-face," he said.
The group, which is considering challenging any shark fin ban bylaw in court, requested to join the task force but hasn't been invited.
Ald. Druh Farrell says the task force will include scientists and citizens, including stakeholders in the city's Chinese community, but no formal groups.
"There are differing opinions, even in the Chinese community," she said.
City council has already given first reading to a shark fin ban bylaw — which would ban the possession, sale and consumption of such products. The task force is expected to report back to city council by the end of May.