Vancouver Aquarium (Wikimedia Commons)

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium has agreed to drop its lawsuit against the city over the contentious ban on cetaceans in captivity, as part of its new 35-year lease.

The agreement, which replaces the current lease that’s set to expire in 2029, sets out that the Vancouver Aquarium will no longer display whales and dolphins, according to parent company Ocean Wise.

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

“We appreciate the park board’s cooperation and are thrilled that the Vancouver Aquarium is staying in Stanley Park, which has been its home since 1956,” CEO Lasse Gustavsson said in a news release Tuesday.

Last May, Ocean Wise announced it was suing the city, claiming it lost millions of dollars in revenue specifically through the design of and consultation on a new exhibit that relied on five belugas being brought in. That lawsuit will be discontinued.

The Vancouver debate on whether to ban cetaceans from the aquarium began in earnest in 2017, after beluga whales Qila and Aurora died a few months apart in 2016.

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

The Vancouver Park Board amended a bylaw that would ban the marine life from being held in captivity.

Two harbour porpoises and a false killer whale have also died at the aquarium since then, leaving a Pacific white-sided dolphin named Helen as the last remaining cetacean in its care.

Shortly after the bylaw was changed, the aquarium applied for judicial review of the amendment, arguing that 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.

READ MORE: New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver 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, although the aquarium had announced it would no longer display cetaceans in captivity ahead of its $100-million expansion in Stanley Park. The new trial, which will be put back to the Supreme Court, has not yet begun.

Black Press Media has reached out to the park board for clarification.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Charges dropped against officer who shot and killed Hudson Brooks in South Surrey

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

‘Men of Curling’ calendar features Surrey’s Tardi, who went rock climbing with a curling rock

Tyler Tardi, 21, now curls on men’s circuit, meaning he won’t play at 2020 nationals in Langley

Here’s why you may not have seen many federal election signs in Surrey

Earlier this year, Surrey council banned election signs on public property, highways

‘Jail’ time for Surrey business and community leaders in Crime Stoppers fundraiser

Metro Vancouver organization to host Jail & Bail event Friday at Central City’s outdoor plaza

Police, volunteers to deliver South Surrey students’ road-safety messages

Elementary designs aim to remind drivers to slow down, pay attention on the road

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

‘We still did not get answers’: Vancouver parents demand expulsion after students’ racist video

‘We were unable to get confirmation from the VSB, but he hasn’t returned as of yet,’ says Marie Tate

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

‘What goes up will come down’: Gas prices spike in Metro Vancouver

Petroleum analyst Dan McTeague says prices will fall Thursday

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read