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

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Tree; Burns Lake library. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)
Dragon Tree christened

The Burns Lake Public Library contest for dragon and tree names has… Continue reading

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Most Read