Live: Park Board meeting on cetaceans in captivity

We will be reporting live from the Park Board meeting on Monday from 7 p.m.

Follow the live blog here, on Twitter and listen to live audio with your favourite audio player.

Marcus November 23, 201410:29 pm

We will begin our coverage shortly before 7 p.m. on Monday night. In addition to this live blog and updates on Twitter, we also intend to broadcast a live audio stream. Stay tuned for more.

Marcus November 24, 20146:48 pm

Good evening from the Vancouver Park Board. You can listen to our live audio stream at

Marcus November 24, 20146:54 pm

Quite noisy here tonight. Our microphone is picking up everything in the board room…

Marcus November 24, 20147:02 pm

Just a few more minutes. The board members are all in the room…

Marcus November 24, 20147:05 pm

Aaron Jasper opening the meeting.

Marcus November 24, 20147:06 pm

Char Jasper is going through some agenda items…

Marcus November 24, 20147:07 pm

Request to change the agenda. Aaron Jasper asks for other items to be moved up on the agenda.

Marcus November 24, 20147:11 pm

A full board room tonight. Many members of the public in the building.

Marcus November 24, 20147:15 pm
Marcus November 24, 20147:17 pm

The noise in the background is the media trying to plug into the audio system here….

Marcus November 24, 20147:19 pm

A motion to commemorate Jim Deva is being introduced right now…

Marcus November 24, 20147:21 pm

Thank you to all the Aquarium supporters for coming out to the Park Board tonight.

Marcus November 24, 20147:21 pm

Plenty of people still waiting outside.

Marcus November 24, 20147:25 pm

The Board has passed a motion to create a memorial for Jim Deva.

Marcus November 24, 20147:26 pm

The Park Board’s General Manager will present a report now.

Marcus November 24, 20147:27 pm

Some history first…

Marcus November 24, 20147:27 pm

He explains what purpose the existing by-law serves.

Marcus November 24, 20147:28 pm

He reads out the text of the proposed amendment to the by-law.

Marcus November 24, 20147:29 pm

The Park Board GM now reads out the staff’s ideas for an Oversight Committee, how it should be composed etc. (is part of the agenda, can be downloaded from Park Board website)

Marcus November 24, 20147:31 pm

Marcus November 24, 20147:33 pm

Questions to staff right now. Trevor Loke asked to what extend scientists have contributed. GM replies they have not asked scientists to contribute.

Marcus November 24, 20147:35 pm

GM been asked by Nikki Sharma what would be necessary to enact the by-law tonight. GM tells her that it is not on the agenda to do so.

Marcus November 24, 20147:35 pm

But tells her that it would be possible to add it to the agenda.

Marcus November 24, 20147:39 pm

When questioned by Melissa De Genova, Park Board GM explained that it would indeed be common to have a more thorough consultation process before passing a by-law like this.

Marcus November 24, 20147:43 pm

Comm. Blyth wants to introduce motion.

Marcus November 24, 20147:44 pm

Comm. Blyth introduces motion to suspend the rules, seconded by Comm. Barnes.

Marcus November 24, 20147:45 pm

The motion has failed.

Marcus November 24, 20147:45 pm

De Genova point of order: commissioner is not following the rules…

Marcus November 24, 20147:49 pm

There was a lot of confusion in the room as to how the board should proceed. Melissa De Genova has introduced a motion to have a short recess now. 5 minutes break.

Marcus November 24, 20147:51 pm

We are in a 5 minute break now.

Marcus November 24, 20147:53 pm

Most people have returned… the 5 minute break should soon be over.

Marcus November 24, 20147:56 pm

Still a lot of procedural discussion going on….

Marcus November 24, 20147:59 pm

Marcus November 24, 20148:02 pm

Several board members and staff are discussing a motion:

THAT the Vancouver Park Board receive for information and consideration:

– The proposed amendment of Parks Control By-law section 9e in regard to keeping cetaceans in captivity … to be reviewed in 2015, as per motion passed on November 27, 2006 and

– The proposed terms of reference for the establishment of a Vancouver Aquarium Oversight Committee … and,

FURTHER THAT the Board direct staff to conduct further public consultation on this matter.

Marcus November 24, 20148:05 pm

Coupar asks Blyth why she is bringing forward this motion now, in an election year… why this timing?

Marcus November 24, 20148:05 pm

Marcus November 24, 20148:10 pm

An amendment introduced by Commissioner Blyth has been passed (to basically set a date at which the review should take place)

Marcus November 24, 20148:14 pm

Sarah Blyth explains that the Park Board has been unaware of some of the issues debated this summer…

Marcus November 24, 20148:15 pm

De Genova explains her position, says this is a very important issue. Asks why Sarah Blyth has only brought this up now. Asks Blyth why she did only consult one side of the issue.

Marcus November 24, 20148:16 pm

De Genova says that this board has not taken enough time for consultation. Says she had hoped to be a part of this.

Marcus November 24, 20148:17 pm

Coupar now: talks about commissioner’s liaison positions. Says to his knowledge, no commissioner has ever gone to a VA board meeting. 

Marcus November 24, 20148:18 pm

Coupar talking about Oversight Committee. Says Aquarium are marine mammal experts, around the world. Says they already have an oversight committee.

Marcus November 24, 20148:19 pm

Barnes explains that there was a petition with 35,000 people who signed it, says it had to be brought to the board because of that interest.

Marcus November 24, 20148:21 pm

Interesting to know that the petition was promoted by animal rights activists all over the world. Of course, there were not 35,000 people from Vancouver or even BC or Canada who signed this petition.

Marcus November 24, 20148:23 pm

Barnes says that the committee would for the first time bring accountability. She says that does not exist right now.

Marcus November 24, 20148:25 pm
Marcus November 24, 20148:31 pm

Commissioners speaking on the motion now. We are covering that in more detail on Twitter right now…. being discussed is a motion (we posted the text before) to ask the new board to review the by-law and staff recommendations in 2015.

Marcus November 24, 20148:32 pm

Marcus November 24, 20148:36 pm

Marcus November 24, 20148:38 pm

Marcus November 24, 20148:43 pm

The only motion passed today: review all recommendations in 2015. The board has passed everything on to the next board.

Marcus November 24, 20148:44 pm

Neither the by-law nor the ‘oversight committee’ have been voted on tonight. No by-law has been enacted.

Marcus November 24, 201410:28 pm

Thank you for following our live blog today. Have a good night.