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

Former BC conservation officer feels vindicated after appeals court nullifies dismissal

Bryce Casavant was fired after refusing orders to euthanize two bear cubs in 2015.

A former BC conservation officer who was fired for refusing to kill two bear cubs on Northern Vancouver Island has won a court appeal over his dismissal.

The BC Court of Appeal has ruled the legal process was flawed and Bryce Casavant’s dismissal should be nullified.

It was back in 2015 when the former conservation officer defied orders and refused to kill two cubs after euthanizing their mother, who had been seen eating garbage in a mobile home park in Port Hardy.

RELATED: Bryce Casavant awaits fate

Casavant was fired over the incident, yet the two cubs, later named Jordan and Athena, were eventually released back into the wild from a facility for rehabilitation.

“Mr. Casavant euthanized the sow but not the cubs because he understood, from speaking with the complainant, that only the sow had been eating garbage,” stated the three-judge panel in its decision.

“Killing the cubs in these circumstances would be inconsistent with Ministry policy.”

As such, the court felt Casavant’s dismissal should be nullified. The court, however, did not order for him to be reinstated.

Casavant has maintained throughout court proceedings that as a special constable appointed under the Police Act that the decision of discharging his firearm was his to make. “My choice was not to kill them.”

“The Court of Appeal has upheld that,” he added.

Casavant tweeted a thank you to everyone who had sent congratulations about the decision, stating he believes it to be a landmark win for BC Constables.

“It’s been a very long journey,” Casavant said Tuesday, June 9 from his home in Port Alberni. “After five years of it taking its toll on my family, I feel like a weight’s been lifted; a dark cloud has been parted. My future is unknown, but it’s looking positive.”

After being dismissed from the BC Conservation Officer Service, Casavant worked for the Ministry of Forests and tried his hand at politics, running in the 2017 provincial election as the NDP candidate in the Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding, which was won by the Green Party’s Andrew Weaver. He now works for Pacific Wild as a conservation policy analyst.

Casavant also graduated from Royal Roads University with a Ph.D in social sciences. His dissertation was released June 5, 2020, one day after the court decision clearing him of wrongdoing. Titled “In Search of a Wild Peace,” it examines the relationship between wildlife and the BC Conservation Officer Service’s use of lethal force.

RELATED: Casavant takes aim at grizzly bear hunt

Casavant said he feels the people who fired him should be held accountable, and he will talking with his lawyer about what the next step is.

He has been awarded court costs for his appeal.

Casavant said six previous court decisions went against him, and called this victory “a bittersweet moment. It shouldn’t have happened, and it shouldn’t have crossed two (government) administrations like that.”


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ConservationCourt

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Saanich in driver’s seat for residential road speed reduction pilot project

District recruits 11 CRD municipalities to join pilot project to look at 40 km/h residential limit

Victoria baseball club opens Royal Athletic Park for public picnics

HarbourCats go ahead with annual sock toss for charity despite no games

Hotel workers gather in Victoria, demand right to return to work

Workers also asking the government to make sure employers don’t use pandemic to replace them

Victoria archery club says goodbye to outdoor range in View Royal

Province-owned View Royal property will house handyDART facility

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read