UPDATE: UBCM supports shark fin industry fight

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

Fin Donnelly

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

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
UPDATE: Search suspended for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read