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

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.

Comments (14) Add New Comment
Better Way To Make a Point
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.
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Lance
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.
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Jon Q. Publik
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.
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cosmicsync
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.
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Alan Layton
He and his party will not be getting my vote.
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Jon Q. Publik
@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.
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Daniel Tanner
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.
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Tommy Khang
@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.
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Barry William Teske
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'.
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Lee L
" 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?

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cosmicsync
Jon Q. Publik

In addition to the points made by Daniel Tanner, I would like to add that the threat of lawsuits seeking to inhibit the ability of her citizens to pass laws contrary to the interests of multinationals and other one-percenters is the reason Germany will likely reject the TPP. It's quite stunning to see an economic powerhouse like Germany taking a stand in favour of her citizens right to practice democracy.

But you do raise an important issue, and it's the one I think LaPoint would be wise to focus on, rather than flinging poo at the mayor.

There is no doubt that the Vancouver Aquarium is doing important work that benefits wildlife as well as human society. It is also true that, like many other segments of our society, it is getting tougher for them to exist under changing social mores.

The issue LaPoint should be focusing on is how we can continue to support the important rescue, research and education work the aquarium is doing if they are no longer permitted to use the public display of whales and dolphins as a means of generating revenue.

If aquarium supporters continue to draw a line in the sand - basically telling those of us with growing moral objections to the continued practice of exhibiting cetaceans to subsidize the cost of their rescue that we don't understand or we don't really care about the welfare of the animals - we can't have that conversation about finding other ways of securing their survival.

And you and Kirk LaPointe may disagree, but how dare he say the comments of the mayor or anyone else on this subject are deplorable.

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Lee L

Nothing wrong with putting on a chicken suit, if you're selling chicken.

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As an aside, anyone else see a highlight on Tommy Khang's comment?
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James Blatchford
Yes, Tommy Khang has a subtle pink aura. Out late at the fireworks,Tommy?
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Alan Layton
Why didn't his NPA Park's Board Commissioners not show up to a very important and well-publicized vote last night on keeping cetaceans in captivity at Van Aqauarium?
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James Blatchford
Alan, fyi...I think the way you've phrased your question, they did show up. But the double negative seems sooo NPA , I'm cutting you some serious slack!
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