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

Just Posted

Sierra Robinson, 17, is one of 15 youths suing the Canadian government for failing to take action on climate change. (Facebook)
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Duncan B&E suspect caught in the act by RCMP

37-year-old Parksville man facing several charges

The road into Crofton will be a lot nicer when the roller coaster bumps are taken out of Crofton Road. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Crofton Road improvements to start taking shape Nov. 2

It’ll be a long haul until next summer to get it done and motorists should expect delays

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor has expressed concerns about the excessive freighters parked in the Salish Sea for quite some time. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address problem freighter anchorages

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

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

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

Most Read