New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

The Vancouver Park Board will have another chance to argue it has the authority to ban cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium.

The B.C. Court of Appeal allowed the park board’s appeal Tuesday, reversing a lower court decision that said the board had no right to implement a bylaw that bans whales, dolphins and porpoises at the aquarium. The matter will be put back to the Supreme Court for a new trial.

READ MORE: Court rules park board lacked authority to ban whales, dolphins at Vancouver Aquarium

The contentious battle over cetaceans in captivity between the park board and the aquarium’s operator, the Ocean Wise Conservation Association, started back in May 2017.

The park board had amended a bylaw to ban the animals from captivity, after two of the aquarium’s belugas, Qila and Aurora, had died suddenly the year before.

The aquarium applied for judicial review of the amendment, saying the park board had no authority to do so.

In February 2018, a B.C. Supreme Court judge agreed, citing a 1999 contract between the two sides that says the board will not interfere with the day-to-day administration of the aquarium.

The park board appealed on the basis that the court’s decision poses “a real and substantial challenge” to its legal power and authority.

This was despite the aquarium recently announcing it would no longer display cetaceans in captivity ahead of its $100-million expansion in Stanley Park.

On Tuesday, Justice David Tysoe said the park board does not have to “fetter,” or restrain, its bylaw-making power, regardless of the decades-old agreement.

The aquarium, which has kept cetaceans since 1964, has one mammal remaining in its care: a Pacific white-sided dolphin named Helen, who is in her mid-30s and was rescued when she got tangled up in a fishing net in Japan.

READ MORE: Vancouver Aquarium to no longer house whales, dolphins


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Energy efficiency session at the Nelson Public Library

Nelson Hydro customers who are seniors are now eligible for free weatherization upgrades

Local Parachutes for the Planet visit B.C. Legislature

Nelson students made parachutes to push for climate change action

LETTER: Fix the potholes

From reader Bob Johnson

Kootenay Co-op Radio calls for support to avoid deficit

The annual funding drive is important to the station’s financial health

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Most Read