UPDATE: UBCM supports shark fin industry fight

Push on province and feds to ban shark fin products ramps up

Fin Donnelly

City councillors from across the province spent the week in Victoria discussing issues ranging from the legalization of marijuana to Internet voting.

But perhaps the most enthusiastic support coming out of the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference is for Lower Mainland NDP MP Fin Donnelly’s push to ban the importation of shark fin products to Canada.

In conjunction with the Humane Society International/Canada and alongside municipal politicians, Donnelly held a press conference at Ship Point on Tuesday to raise public awareness of his federal bill and convince members of the Conservative Party to support it.

“We’re anticipating the bill to come forward late this year, or early next year, so that gives us some time to still let the members of Parliament know across the country how important it is that they vote for the ban of shark fin in Canada,” Donnelly said.

Victoria Coun. Thornton-Joe brought forward a successful motion to council last February to support Donnelly’s bill, and said the city is not considering a bylaw to ban the sale of shark-fin products at this time.

“If we can have the province ban shark fins as well (as the federal ban on imports), those are the best bets in trying to resolve the problem. But at a local level, it’s about education and working with the Chinese restaurants,” she said.

Thornton-Joe said a local ban on shark-fin products would still be considered if higher levels of government do not act.

Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang, who has spearheaded the ban of shark-fin products in Metro Vancouver, said the municipalities of Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby are working together to produce an amalgamated ban.

“Otherwise, it’s too easy to jump across a bridge to another jurisdiction,” he said, adding that the joint bans will likely happen at the end of next year.

“We wanted to give restaurants and shops that sell shark fin time to adjust,” Jang said. “We just didn’t want to go cold turkey on them, because that would just cause a huge upset.”

Along with Jang and Thornton-Joe, councillors from Port Moody, Coquitlam and Abbotsford were present to offer their support for the federal bill.

Fin Free Victoria members from Glenlyon Norfolk and St. Margaret’s schools were also on hand.

“When people get educated about the issue, there really is no hesitation to support it,” Donnelly said.

The UBCM passed a resolution Friday morning calling for a provincial ban on the sale, trade and distribution of shark-fin products, and supporting the federal bill that would ban the importation of shark fins.

The United Nations Environmental Program estimates up to 73 million sharks are killed each year for fin harvesting.

Due to that rate of harvesting, they estimate that shark populations have dropped by 90 per cent in the Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean Sea in the last 15 years.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

B.C. regulation says e-bike motors must turn off if rider stops pedalling, or bike must be insured

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read