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Stanley Park 125th Anniversary
posted on August 19, 2013

Open Letter

August 19, 2013

Dear Commissioners and City Council:

Celebrate! Stanley Nature Park!

It has been 125 years since the battle for Stanley Park began. Has it all been for the better or has some of the commercialization been for the worse? In spite of opposition to violating animal rights and imprisoning wildlife in zoos and aquariums, the Vancouver Aquarium continues their barbaric expansion plans to imprisonment more dolphins and other wildlife.

In 1988 Lifeforce made a submission to have Stanley Park designated as a National Historic Site. In 1989 the Federal government advised Lifeforce that we had been successful. (see attached Board snubbed as Stanley Park dubbed historic site, Vancouver Sun, January 21, 1989) I had suggested planting a tree instead of a plaque. I was not invited to any ceremony if there was one.

In addition, Lifeforce also produced a series of ten Stanley Park Nature and History Walk brochures. These self-guided nature walks blend the natural history with historic information. These brochures “live” on. I have recently been contacted by Sean Kheraj, Assistant Professor, Department of History, York University. He wishes to scan the series for a forthcoming article on the website (http://seankheraj.com) and The Otter, a Canadian environmental history blog (http://niche-canada.org/otter).

The Lifeforce Foundation was formed in 1981 as an ecology organization to show the interrelationship of human, animal and environmental problems. We strive to contribute to a better world in which all life and our planet is respected.

Since the 80s we have fought against the multi-million dollar zoo and aquarium industry that imprisons animals and deplete wildlife populations. We have tried to stop the many Vancouver Aquarium expansions that consume precious Stanley Park land and destroy natural wildlife habitats. Stanley Park is free ecology classroom where there is a diversity of wildlife living freely in the park. Please go to our web site and see “Let Stanley Park Be!” (Let Stanley Park Be!.) This free ecology classroom must be promoted and protected.

The public had voted against a zoo in Stanley Park and the new Aquarium expansion would also expand their “zoo” animal menagerie. Aquarium plans include getting river otters for their expansion. They said they may get “nuisance” otters. The public had said NO ZOO! partly because of the neurotic otters being inhumanely imprisoned. The proposed new zoo would have “rotating” otters all day long kept in squeeze cages behind the scenes. Pro zoo proponents said it was to show active ones not sleeping ones because they are nocturnal. The Aquarium also wants beaver too. Hey there is a beaver family in Beaver Lake with a planned live underwater video cam.

Lifeforce had asked the new Vancouver Parks Board to stop the proposed Aquarium revised expansion. They failed to get the $120 million to open for the 2010 Olympics. These new plans have not gone through the proper public comment process. The public does not know that the Aquarium plans more captive dolphins and many other species.

Fulfilling the goal of no more aquarium expansions would help celebrate a more natural Stanley Park. Lifeforce and others have fought hard to protect it as a National Historic Site and a free wildlife sanctuary.

For Freedom,

Peter Hamilton
Lifeforce Founding Director