This week a lot of publicity has surrounded the announcement by two Vision Vancouver Park Commissioners that they want to see the end of whale captivity at Vancouver Aquarium. Sarah Blyth and Constance Barnes say that they want the Aquarium to phase out whales and dolphins. I applaud their statements but I do have some misgivings. Both Commissioners Blyth and Barnes voted against a motion I brought to the Park Board in 2010 for a plebiscite during the 2011 election. Neither have called for a vote in this November’s civic election. “I’d like to see the question asked, "Should whales be kept in captivity at this time?’” Blyth said (in the Courier). “But we can’t bind another board to a decision we’ve made.”
There is only limited time to get a plebiscite question onto the November ballot. I hope Commissioners Blyth and Barnes will have the courage of their convictions and bring a motion to the Park Board asking City Council to put the question to the people. Let the citizens of Vancouver have their say.
Both COPE and the Green Party are on record favouring holding a city-wide vote on the phasing out of whales and dolphins. I hope Vision Vancouver will join and real action can be taken this year.
You can speak out by writing to the Park Board and City Council asking for a vote. Write to:
PBcommissioners@vancouver.ca and firstname.lastname@example.org