Mr. Mayor and Councillors, City of Vancouver
Mr. Chair and Commissioners, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Mr. Malcolm Bromley, General Manager, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We are writing to express our joint support for the Vancouver Aquarium. The Aquarium is the City’s major tourist destination, largest cultural institution and a globally recognized research and conservation centre. Unlike its Canadian counterparts, the Aquarium operates without government subsidies from any level, including the City.
We are concerned by recent comments indicating that the City of Vancouver, through the Board of Parks and Recreation, is seriously considering changing municipal policy to negatively affect the Aquarium’s ability to continue operating as a world class cultural and educational institution.
The Vancouver Aquarium is recognized internationally for its high standards of animal care, the important research it conducts with many species, including beluga whales, its Marine Mammal Rescue Centre and its focus on enhanced public engagement. Eighteen years ago the Aquarium took a principled stand as the first institution in the world to pledge to never capture cetaceans from the wild. That pledge means the Aquarium houses only whales and dolphins that cannot live in the wild. We believe these animals are far better off in Vancouver than they would be in other facilities elsewhere.
Vancouver has a tremendous asset in the Aquarium. Locals and visitors from around the world come away changed by the experience of seeing animals up close – animals they are unlikely to ever see in the wild. They leave more curious about and interested in current ocean issues ranging from basic coastal ecology to the impact of climate change. And what both Aquarium and collaborating scientists are able to learn from the animals in the Aquarium’s care grows more and more important as the animals’ natural environments change.
We urge that this issue be considered very carefully, and that decisions be made based on facts. The Aquarium is a world leader and has our unequivocal support. It deserves the same from the City of Vancouver and the Park Board.
Ross J. Beaty
F. J. (John) Blatherwick, CM, OBC, CD, FRCP(C)
Stewart L. Blusson, Ph.D., OC
Richard F. Bradshaw
Peter M. Brown, OBC, LL.D.
John A. Fraser, PC, OC, OBC, CD, QC
George W. Hungerford, OC, QC
Jane K. Hungerford
Mary C. Jordan
Robert H. Lee, OC, OBC
Don Lindsay, OBC
Rudy North, CM
Brian Riddell, Ph.D.
Yosef Wosk, Ph.D., OBC
We have also received letters of support by former City of Vancouver Mayors who have proudly stood by our conservation efforts over several decades as Vancouver’s marine science centre:
- Michael Harcourt – Mayor of Vancouver 1980 – 1986, Premier of British Columbia 1991 – 1996
- Philip W. Owen, OC – Mayor of Vancouver 1993 – 2002
- Larry W. Campbell – Senator representing British Columbia, Mayor of Vancouver 2002 – 2005
- Sam Sullivan, OC – MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, Mayor of Vancouver 2005 – 2008
Thank you to all our community champions, including the thousands of supporters who have shared a letter or signature in the past few months to help protect our marine mammal research, rescue and conservation program. Your collective voice has made a significant difference.
If you would like to share your support and have not yet done so, please do!