(Explore.org via AP)

Court allows appeal of order to edit Vancouver Aquarium documentary

Filmmaker was to remove some footage in piece that looks at treatment of dolphins and beluga whales.

The B.C. Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of a filmmaker whose documentary criticized the Vancouver Aquarium’s practice of keeping beluga whales and dolphins in captivity.

It says a lower court judge erred in ordering the filmmaker to remove 15 segments of his documentary that the aquarium said could cause the facility irreparable harm.

RELATED: Judge orders edit of documentary criticizing Vancouver Aquarium

Justice Mary E. Saunders says in a written ruling that the evidence does not support claims that Gary Charbonneau’s one-hour documentary brought the facility bad publicity.

Saunders says aspects of “Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered” that are highly critical come from clips of public hearings where aquarium officials have spoken and of their public positions and budgets, juxtaposed with interviews of experts.

The aquarium won an injunction in April 2016 that forced Charbonneau to remove nearly five minutes of material taken from its website and blog for the film, which YouTube refused to remove at the facility’s request.

Charbonneau’s lawyer Arden Beddoes says the removed content will be replaced in the film, which he says legitimately criticized practices that are increasingly debated by the public in Vancouver and elsewhere.

The Canadian Press

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