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Vote on Vancouver Aquarium whales and dolphins rejected

It will be at least five more years before Vancouver voters get the chance to decide the fate of whale and dolphin exhibits at the city's aquarium.

Vancouver's park commissioners have rejected a motion urging a non-binding plebiscite on the issue in next year's civic election.

Stuart MacKinnon, the board member who called for the plebiscite, says the rejection is not surprising, but he's confident the Vancouver Aquarium will eventually remove its captive whale and dolphin displays.

MacKinnon's motion, prompted by the death of a young beluga whale at the aquarium last month, was supported by one other park board commissioner and the majority of the noisy crowd that attended the Monday night meeting.

In voting against the plebiscite proposal, board chairman Aaron Jasper accused MacKinnon of failing to protect the interests of Vancouver taxpayers.

Jasper says the city could have faced a lawsuit if the park board had broken an agreement with the aquarium and reviewed the captive whale issue before 2015.

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