Tuesday, May 30, 2006



Oh well the NPA and Aquarium got its wish tonite which is the expansion of the Aquarium. It is really too bad that the public will now not have a say in this expansion. Talk about Autocratic rule. And quite frankly, this is an affront to the wishes of the majority of Vancouver citizens who do not want an expansion of the Aquarium. Vancouverites have on numerous occassions stated they didn't wish to have any expansion of the Aquarium.

The only members of the public speaking in support of the Aquarium were those directly involved with the Aquarium in some capacity. This is hardly a fair representation of the public. On the other hand, members speaking Out against the expansion were a true reflection of Vancouver's citizenry. Moreover, people from all political parties, even the NPA, attended and voiced their unhappiness over the Aquarium's plan to steal another acre of our beloved Jewel.

For the NPA to use arguments such as the public wants this expansion and it confirms this through Aquarium gate receipts is sad. Should tourists dictate what is in the public interest of Vancouver citizens? If this is the best the NPA and Aquarium can come up with then we really are in trouble in terms of development in this city.

Further, for Dr John Nightengale , chairman of the Aquarium, to use children of this city as he did tonite in his closing arguments, to suggest that they are in favour of the Aquarium expansion is really sad. To exploit children in this fashion is really distorted thinking in its worst form. You and I both know that children do not have the abilities to understand the complexities of what the Aquarium expansion development may mean.

I'm certain the citizens who are allowed to vote in this city will make the NPA pay for this misdeed come our next election. I don't believe for a moment in 2 1/2 years that this issue will go away. I personally will do my best to keep it alive if I can.

Stay tuned folks for what will become a very public battle.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


At 6:18 PM, Anonymous markb said...

well let me post my support for this expansion. you've said only those directly involved with the aquarium want it ? not so fast.

i take my nephew to the aquarium at least once every 2-3 months so that is at least 4 or 5 times per year and i pay full admission each time. so it's not just tourists that dictate the need or want for expansion.

the aquarium is an amazing learning tool for everyone, and the little ones really enjoy themselves, how else would they experience all this captive "wildlife" ?

did you go to aquariums when you were little ? did you not enjoy them ?

thank you.

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Correction markb I said those attending the mtg in support of the Expansion were affiliated with the Aquarium.

For the record, No I didn't go to the Aquarium due to not having much money growing up. It was a luxury my parents could not afford.

I think your nephew can just as easily learn about wildlife without having to see captive wildlife. By the way have you ever asked your nephew what he thinks of those kept captive in tanks or zoos or contained spaces? Would he rather see them free in their natural habitat?

By the way, without Tourists there is no Aquarium and this is the real reason why they want the expansion.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous mark said...

ok, so this meeting was a private meeting then ? if it was a public meeting where was all the people power against it ? i'm confused on that one.

i'm sorry the aquarium seemed luxurious way back (i don't remember pricing but i know my parents didn't have alot either but we all loved going there.) they must have sacrificed to get us 3 in there.

do tell how my nephew or any child can experience wildlife ? can he snorkel ? no. can he even swim ? no. can he go out on a boat and see whales and dolphins ? uh no that would be way more expensive than paying admission to the aquarium.
and as for what he thinks of captive wildlife i'll try asking when he's able to answer that as he is only 4 and really, really enjoys a day there just like myself and brother and sister did when we were kids and still do to this day, all of us.

there's always someone complaining about expansion/progress all the time whether it be sprawling suburbs, skytrain, sea to sky highway, olympics, aquarium blah blah. i guess complaining and objecting fills a common void among alot of people. the need to have some sort of voice as without complaining no one would ever turn a blind eye at them.

i fully support the expansion, my whole family does and it's a big family. of course as long as every single one of those animals are treated the best they can be, then some vancouverites support this 100%.

that is just the way it is.


At 7:13 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...


its interesting that in your 2nd post in support of the Aquarium expansion, you miss out on some key facts. One is that this expansion is not new news. People have opposed the expansion and no whales in captivity for many years and decades. That is why in the wisdom of previous park boards, there had been two resolutions affirming that the public had to have a say in Aquarium expansion.

In your narrow view, I suppose you think we should just turn over public land for greedy developers? You are ignorant to those who do express their concern over these issues. You also disrespect those who have concern over development by reducing us to unworthy beings who must be filling some void or emptyness in our lives?

I guess you don't know much about Vancouvers' history. Progressive thinkers stopped a freeway from razing, ruining and destroying our oldest historic neighborhood, Strathcona. Protestors also in the 70's stopped development from occurring in the entranceway to Stanley Park, saving the entranceway for future generations.

And yes people should be concerned over mega projects such as the former Expo and future Olympics 2010. We need opposition voices (thinkers) to inform and educate us to the costs of development.

Back to your comment that your little nephew cannot understand the significance of animals in captivity. That is my point exactly. Misinformed adults such as yourself use these little children, essentially exploiting them, to further your own narrow worldview.

In fact, Dr. John Nightingale did the same in articulating that children attending the Aquarium are providing the necessary support for Aquarium expansion plans. He claims if they were opposed they wouldn't be visiting the Aquarium. One key element is missing in his analysis as in yours--that is children are not capable of understanding what keeping animals in captivity means. It is Adults who are providing a distorted picture to these learning minds.

And this is exactly why society is in the mess it finds itself today.

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous markb said...

oh jamie,

thanks for trying to put me in my narrow little place !

we will always cherish the aquarium and fully support the expansion.

don't be such a jerk to suggest that the whole park should be turned over for greedy developers. how stupid !
i treasure stanley park, i absolutley love the whole thing, and don't see how taking the littlest bit to expand the aquarium is doing anyone any harm !

good luck with stopping the expansion and you have yourself a good day and thanks for letting me air my view.


At 6:17 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Hi Mark,

I'm not trying to put you in your place. I'm merely expressing my viewpoints.

The Aquarium wants to take away another acre of our public park to satisfy their own plans. And make no mistake Mark, there is an attempt by developers to develop Stanley Park.

Thanks for calling me names Mark to make your point. Really intelligent isn't it?


Post a Comment

<< Home