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Park Board supports Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre

April 27 2017

Park Board office in Stanley Park

The Vancouver Park Board expressed its’ support today for the important and excellent work by Vancouver Aquarium staff and volunteers in the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre run at a facility outside of Stanley Park.

The Board will continue to work with Aquarium staff to support a thriving rescue program. As confirmed by the Aquarium, cetaceans represent a tiny percentage of all of the marine mammals rescued since the program began.  

At a special public meeting last month, the Park Board directed staff to amend the Parks Control Bylaw that pertains to cetaceans in city parks in order to prohibit the importation and display of live cetaceans in our parks.

“The amendments, which are being finalized, are thoughtful and reflective of public opinion. They take into consideration that rescued cetaceans Chester, Helen, and Daisy, are currently receiving care in Stanley Park,” said Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe. 

The amended bylaw will be presented to the Board on May 15, 2017, and released to the public a week prior to the Board meeting. 

The Park Board points out that the Aquarium voluntarily decided to end the display of orcas at the Aquarium in 1996 and thus orcas have never been included in the rescue and rehabilitation program.   

“We applaud the valuable work still being done in public education and conservation and look forward to continuing our strong partnership into the future,” said Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe. 

Background

The Park Board, along with applicable provincial and federal laws pertaining to cetaceans, permits and regulates Aquarium activities in Stanley Park.

The Park Board has a long-term lease with the 60-year-old Vancouver Aquarium to operate within Stanley Park. The Aquarium has operated under a legal agreement with the Park Board since 1956. The current lease runs to 2029. 

Stanley Park is owned by the Government of Canada and leased in perpetuity to the City as a park. City Council has designated Stanley Park as a permanent public park under the Vancouver Charter. The Park Board has exclusive jurisdiction and control over Stanley Park.

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