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Vancouver Green Party councillor wants no whales at aquarium; wants issue on ballot

Two young girls watch as Tiqa the two-year old beluga whale swims at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park, Tuesday, August 3, 2010.
Two young girls watch as Tiqa the two-year old beluga whale swims at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park, Tuesday, August 3, 2010. CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER – A Vancouver councillor says the issue of whales and dolphins at the city’s aquarium should be addressed through a question on the municipal election ballot.

Green party Coun. Adrianne Carr says she wants council to consider the matter at its next meeting on April 29.

Carr says the question would only be added to the ballot if the park board and the Vancouver Aquarium don’t reach an agreement before the November election to phase out keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

She says aquariums elsewhere have managed to remain financially successful without keeping large marine mammals captive.

Mayor Gregor Robertson has said he’d like to see the whales and dolphins program phased out though he does not support a referendum during the election and hopes the aquarium and the park board come to an agreement before then.

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The aquarium says Robertson might not understand the vital role belugas and dolphins play in its education efforts.