Pickering Council moves forward with ban of shark fin products

By Moya Dillon, Durham Region Article,
16. November 2011

PICKERING — Pickering could become the next GTA municipality to ban the sale of shark fin products after a staff report said such a ban is viable.

In a report presented to councillors Nov. 14, City solicitor Paul Bigioni concluded that a shark fin ban could be justified under several sections of the Municipal Act, namely those allowing the City to pass bylaws relating to the “health, safety and well-being of persons,” and the “economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality.” However, the report also noted that legal challenges are a possibility.

“There are legal arguments both for and against the validity of a municipal shark fin ban,” the report stated.

“It is therefore impossible to predict with certainty whether or not such a ban would survive a legal challenge.”

Councillor David Pickles, who originally put forward the motion requesting the staff report, said he had heard from many residents in support of the ban.

“This is a perfect example of thinking globally and acting locally,” he explained.

“We are doing our part to stop the practice of finning of sharks, which is an atrocity and could lead to the extinction of some shark species within our lifetime.”

Finning is a fishing practice where the fin of a shark is removed and the animal is thrown back into the sea.

Other councillors argued that the ban was a waste of council’s time, with councillor Peter Rodrigues noting it was “not Pickering’s place to resolve this.”

Council voted five to two in favour of endorsing the report, with councillors Rodrigues and Jennifer O’Connell dissenting.

If the ban is approved, Pickering would join Mississauga, Brampton and Brantford as municipalities that have banned the sale of shark fins. A final vote on a bylaw to enact the ban will be held at the council meeting on Monday, Nov. 21.

Source: durhamregion.com



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