An open letter in support of the Vancouver Aquarium

July 26, 2014

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

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

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

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
Aquarium support/ Page 2
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.

Most Sincerely,

MLA Vancouver-False Creek

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