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Vancouver Park Board appeals court loss over animals in captivity at aquarium

Last Updated Mar 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm EDT

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Park Board is appealing a court decision that determined it didn’t have the authority to ban whales, dolphins and porpoises at the city’s aquarium.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled last month that the aquarium’s “non-interference” provisions in its contract prevented the board from banning the animals.

The decision came after the non-profit society that runs the aquarium applied for a judicial review of amendments to a park bylaw passed last year that restricted the importation and keeping of cetaceans.

The aquarium has a licensing agreement with the board that allows it to operate in Stanley Park, and the facility announced it January that it would end the display of cetaceans because of controversy over keeping the animals in captivity.

Park board chairman Stuart Mackinnon says in a release that the court’s decision poses a real and substantial challenge to the legal power and authority of its elected board.

He says the board continues to support the care of the aquarium’s only remaining cetacean, a Pacific white-sided dolphin named Helen.

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