A national conservation group slammed a Mississauga staff report that claims cities do not have the authority to ban shark fin products.
“Municipalities do have legal jurisdiction on this,” said former Brantford MPP Phil Gillies, now a representative of WILDAID Canada, at yesterday’s council meeting.
His appearance at city hall came after Mississauga’s legal department, in a report to council, stated that municipalities don’t have the jurisdiction to ban shark fin products and that it’s a federal matter. Council had passed a motion in July to pursue a ban.
Gillies made his case by using the example of bear gallbladder, which he said had first been banned by some municipalities before a province-wide ban took effect.
Gillies told council that 75 million to 80 million sharks are killed each year to meet the demand for shark fins, sending some species to the brink of extinction. Shark fin soup is a popular item within the Chinese community and is often served at special occasions such as weddings.
Victor Oh, Chairman of the Canada-China Business Communication Council, said at yesterday’s meeting that his group supports a ban. But Oh said a municipal ban would be unfair to Mississauga restaurants.