Conservation officer Bryce Casavant takes a cub to a rehabilitation organization on Vancouver Island. (Youtube screenshot)

Conservation officer Bryce Casavant takes a cub to a rehabilitation organization on Vancouver Island. (Youtube screenshot)

B.C. conservation officer who refused to kill 2 bear cubs still fighting to return to work

‘This is way beyond two bear cubs at this time.’

A conservation officer who gained national attention after losing his job for refusing to kill two orphan cubs in Port Hardy in 2015 has filed a petition to get his job back.

In June 2020, the BC Supreme Court of Appeal ruled the Conservation Officer Service illegally dismissed Bryce Casavant, and nullified the action.

Instead of letting him go back to work as he expected, government union organization BCGEU filed an appeal supported by B.C. government. That appeal was squashed this January by the Supreme Court of Canada, leaving the June 4 B.C. court decision in tact.

“My dismissal has been overturned. I have a right to exercise the duties of my post, and a responsibility to return to work, but am being stopped. I’m not asking to be rehired, I don’t need to be reinstated. I am a conservation officer,” he told Black Press Media in an interview Wednesday (March 3).

But Casavant alleges the Conservation Officer Service still has not acknowledged that his dismissal has been nullified, and has not allowed him to return to work. The petition, filed Feb. 23, gives them 21 days to respond.

RELATED: Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

RELATED: Union takes former conservation officer who refused to kill 2 bears back to court

RELATED: Former BC conservation officer feels vindicated after appeals court nullifies dismissal

Recounting the legal history, Casavant sounds fundamentally offended that the court decision is not being acknowledged.

“I need compliance with the law,” he implored. “In my experience in law enforcement and as an academic, I am not aware of any other constable being treated this way.”

Other incorrect dismissals were simply reinstated, he said. Casavant was formerly a military police officer and recently earned a PhD in the history of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

It shouldn’t take a court order to get the decision makers to respond; the chief conservation officer has the power to correct the mistake, Casavant argues.

Even the former Environment Minister, Mary Polak, agrees. She told Casavant recently she was never properly briefed on the file, and is now advocating with him to get the error corrected, he said. Black Press Media has not yet spoken to Polak.

“This is way beyond two bear cubs at this time. I don’t have the financial resources to fight the largest union in B.C. and now on to the second administration of government. I’m starting to wonder if I should have just gone to law school, instead of getting my doctorate.”

The BCGEU has not responded to requests for comment.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


bearsConservationCourt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kendra Blakely, of Lake Country, was born an amputee but thanks to the War Amps Child Amputee program she has been able to take part in activities as a child and now into her 20s. (War Amps photos)
War Amps swings in support for Lake Country CHAMP

Key tag program celebrates 75 years of helping amputees like Kendra

A student works in a science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
COVID-19 exposures at 2 Central Okanagan schools

Ellison Elementary and Ècole Kelowna Secondary School are reporting exposures

Nolan Foote becomes the 62nd Rocket to suit up in an NHL regular-season game on Sunday afternoon (Photo: Kelowna Rockets)
Former Kelowna Rockets captain plays first NHL game

Nolan Foote played his first game with the New Jersey Devils on Sunday

Pastor Cliff Siebert of the Okanagan Landing Community Church (centre) addresses some of his congregation in-person for the first time in many months Sunday, April 18, as the church held the first of what they hope will be regular outdoor services with COVID protocols adhered to and obeyed. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon church hosts outdoor service

Okanagan Landing Community Church put strict COVID protocols in place to hold sermon in back parking lot

The City of Armstrong has been named one of Canada’s 20 best towns to live based on low cost of living and high paying jobs, according to a survey by Numbeo. (Facebook photo/Rhythm Productions)
Armstrong lands among 20 best cities to live in Canada

Survey conducted based on low cost of living and high paying jobs; five other B.C. towns on list

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
80-million-year-old turtle find on B.C. river exciting fossil hunters

Remains of two-foot creature of undetermined species will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

Brent Thompson and Jordan Goebel enjoy coffee and crepes for lunch at The Night Cafe’s new sidewalk patio in downtown Salmon Arm on Friday, April 16, 2021. With indoor dining on hold as part of a March 29 provincial health order, Thompson and Goebel said they’d been patio hopping over the past couple of days, taking in the city’s varied dining options. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Patio pivot offers some reprieve amid restrictions for Salmon Arm restaurateurs

Owner points to impossibility of running a business, raising a family with such a limited income

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
National fitness group condemns unlicensed Kelowna gym’s anti-vaccine policy

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada says Flow Academy is shining a negative light on the industry

Most Read