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MINUTES OF MEETING OF THE BOARD OF PARKS AND RECREATION

2005-10-17

 

MINUTES OF MEETING

OF THE BOARD OF PARKS AND RECREATION

HELD AT THE PARK BOARD OFFICE

ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2005

 

OPEN QUESTION PERIOD

 

...

Stuart Mackinnon asked that a referendum be held this year and questioned the validity of studying cetacean behaviour in captivity. He asked the Park Board to have the courage to do the right thing for whales and dolphins in captivity in Stanley Park.

 

Charles Shane asked if including the Nelson Park project in the 2006 – 2008 Capital Plan committed the incoming Park Board to the current Nelson Park plan. He said this was the third plan and that there is a great deal of confusion. Staff informed the Board that the concept has been recommended at the committee level only, and a final design will

brought to the Board for a decision in early 2006.  

 

Edith Lear said it was not fair to increase all fees and charges because golfing rounds have gone down and efforts should be made to encourage golfers. She asked why the fields at Connaught Park are not closed when it rains and how much is spent to maintain them. Staff replied that they work with all sport groups who use these fields to determine when they need to be closed, and a member of the Board referred to the agenda item on fees and charges to follow later in the meeting. 

 

Kelly Bunting said that the Vancouver Aquarium was in violation of the 1996 By-Law when it recently imported two dolphins, and asked if the Park Board was given the opportunity to approve this importation. She said it is the Board’s responsibility to allow a referendum question on whales in captivity during this election. The Chair said that the Board is taking the dolphin importation situation very seriously.

 

Anthony Marr described a typical dolphin hunt in Japan where dolphins by the pods are killed for meat, and some selected for Japanese aquariums and for export. He said that there are many loopholes in the system for exchanging dolphins between aquariums. Dolphins caught from the wild are bred in captivity, and their offspring are sold to aquariums that have policies of not accepting wild-caught dolphins. He told the Board that keeping cetaceans in captivity is evil regardless of whether they are caught or bred in captivity.

 

Robert Light said that while many people in Vancouver have asked the Board to put the issue of whales in captivity to a referendum, the Board has not responded.

 

Wayne Fisk is alarmed that golfers have to keep paying the higher rate and that there should be realistic numbers that help elevate the number of rounds. He suggested that the comparison between golf course fees in the report is not fair as the courses are very different.

 

Ingrid Pollack said that she is upset about cetaceans in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium and asked for an assurance that she would be able to get information about the Aquarium’s development plans and the minutes from this meeting. Staff referred her to the Vancouver Aquarium’s website to access their expansion plan, and the Board

encouraged her to call staff in order to receive minutes from the meeting.

 

An individual commented that the Board has been asked if it will vote on their request for a referendum question and is not responding, and asked the Board why it has delayed dealing with this request until it is too late. A member of the Board said that the Board has had extensive discussions about the issue and are putting forward a notice of motion

this evening.

 

Keith Edwards does not understand how the dolphins came in to the Aquarium without the Board’s approval and would like to see a motion about ending dolphin importation to Stanley Park. He said there are other ways of studying cetaceans without captivity and that the Park Board should not approve the Aquarium’s expansion plans. Staff explained that because the Board has an operating agreement with the Vancouver Aquarium, and the Aquarium has an obligation to work within the limitations of the agreement and the By-Law, there is not a requirement to have the Board’s approval as long as the Aquarium is

following our agreement.

 

Jenna Hunt said that whales and dolphins in captivity in Vancouver will create negative publicity for Vancouver during the Olympics and there is an opportunity to bring the issue to a referendum now...
 

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