NPA candidate Kirk LaPointe slams Gregor Robertson in a show of support for the Vancouver Aquarium

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      NPA mayoral candidate  Kirk LaPointe has issued a statement voicing strong support for the Vancouver Aquarium.

      “The Aquarium is not capturing the cetaceans. It is saving them,” he wrote in a blog post dated July 31.

      LaPointe’s message is also highly critical of Vision Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, who in April 2014 said he believes that the aquarium should no longer keep whales and dolphins at its facility in Stanley Park.

      LaPointe wrote that he “deplored” Robertson’s decision to take that position.

      “His views have triggered a disruptive process that is costing the city’s taxpayers untold amounts of money in public hearings and consulting fees,” LaPointe said. “The process is interfering with the Aquarium’s ongoing research and expansion plans that would allow it to continue its important scientific work.”

      It continues: “It is time for the expense, disruption and uncertainty to stop and for the mayor to stand down from his efforts to change policy around keeping cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium.”

      LaPointe went on to express concern for the economic implications of the aquarium ceasing to keep whales and dolphins on display.

      Robertson’s April 9 statement focused on the issue of cetacean captivity.

      “My personal view is that the Vancouver Aquarium should begin to phase out the holding of whales and dolphins in captivity,” he said. “I’m hopeful that the Aquarium and the Park Board can work collaboratively and come to an agreement on how to achieve this with a dialogue and review that will be informed, thoughtful, and inclusive.”

      Yesterday (July 30) the Straight reported that four former Vancouver mayors—Sam Sullivan, Larry Campbell, Philip Owen, and Mike Harcourt—had sent letters to the park board expressing their support for the aquarium's whale and dolphin programs to continue in their current forms.

      This evening (July 31), the park board is scheduled to convene its third meeting in less than a week on the issue of cetacean captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium. More than 130 members of the public attended the first two meetings and spoke on the topic.

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      Better Way To Make a Point

      Jul 31, 2014 at 10:09am

      A new on the scene politician taking repeated shots at the experienced politician isn't exactly news. Mr. LaPointe might be better served if he used less energy (zero) slamming or otherwise criticizing others and focussed on informing voters what he thinks he can actually achieve if elected. Reporting on politics and having to make things happen in a city full of diverse needs, ideas and opinions are very different things.

      Negative comments about other politicians deflects attention from what is important and that is a shame because it makes voting a guessing game.


      Jul 31, 2014 at 10:43am

      These marine animals probably have a better life than hundreds of thousands of Canadians.This making animals "Human" is getting a little silly. A documentary the other night stated that if it wasn't for the domestication of the Cow a few thousand years ago our brains would be significantly smaller than they are now.

      Jon Q. Publik

      Jul 31, 2014 at 10:58am

      So is Lapointe basically saying that the NPA is the party that supports science? Funny because the Vision left-lite looks a lot like Big C conservatives with their ham handed approach to this whole cetacean issue.


      Jul 31, 2014 at 12:44pm

      While I'm glad Mr. LaPoint has stated his position on this issue, I am disappointed by the harshness of his criticism of Mayor Robertson for doing the same thing. It is also disappointing that he believes the current process the Parks Board is engaged in is "a disruptive process that is costing the city’s taxpayers untold amounts of money in public hearings and consulting fees."

      Opponents of Vision complain that there isn't enough consultation on everything from zoning to bike lanes to how community centers are funded. Now the NPA mayoral candidate has stated he thinks allowing the citizens of Vancouver to make their views known on an issue that he obviously feels strongly about is a waste of time and money.

      If this is indicative of the type of campaign the NPA is going to run, you may as well put on the chicken suit and start talking about wheat fields in back yards, Mr. LaPoint.

      Maybe Christy will find a spot for you along with Sam and Suzanne after November.

      Alan Layton

      Jul 31, 2014 at 12:45pm

      He and his party will not be getting my vote.

      Jon Q. Publik

      Jul 31, 2014 at 1:28pm

      @cosmicsync Endgame scenario: if the Vision parks board decides to end cetaceans, the aquarium likely will sue and potentially win $45 - $50M. However, Vision seems very willing to spend money left and right leading up to this election, almost as a way to appease voters.

      Daniel Tanner

      Jul 31, 2014 at 1:58pm

      VanAqua can sue all it wants but it has been known by all parties since the expansion was approved that there would be a review of cetacean captivity by 2015. VanAqua went ahead with their expansion plans anyways, despite knowing this. Of course, VanAqua has also have received enormous benefit from being located in Stanley Park and paying very low rent for years. This threat of a lawsuit just prior to an election campaign is a not-so-subtle form of blackmail that VanAqua uses every time this issue comes up.

      Tommy Khang

      Jul 31, 2014 at 2:28pm

      @Daniel Tanner still seems like that the aquarium would have a strong case here, you know primarily it still being 2014 and all. That's also not including the fact that some of the PB commissioners have been publicly behaving rather badly about this issue. As a somewhat engaged Vancouver voter, what gets me the most is Jasper's admission to not considering the financial implications prior to the process.

      Barry William Teske

      Jul 31, 2014 at 2:36pm

      The problem with the mindset at Vancouver Aquarium is they haven't a clue as to what it is like to be held in captivity while everyone else proclaimed it a good thing.
      If they did they surely would have no problem understanding right from wrong now would they?
      It is not in anyones interest anymore except those that reap the profit margins on 'oh how cute'.

      Lee L

      Jul 31, 2014 at 2:45pm

      " you may as well put on the chicken suit and start talking about wheat fields in back yards, Mr. LaPoint. "

      And just what would we WRONG with that?