Bear cub-saving CO abandons battle for reinstatement

Bryce Casavant content with other employment options after refusal to shoot cubs thrust him into international spotlight

Conservation officer Bryce Casavant captures one of two bear cubs in Port Hardy last July.

The Vancouver Island conservation officer who became international news last summer for refusing to shoot two bear cubs has abandoned the fight to get his job back.

Bryce Casavant launched a grievance after he was first suspended, then transferred out of the CO service and into another department following his actions in defiance of provincial orders.

According to his union, the grievance has now been dropped.

“Bryce Casavant is content with his current position with the Ministry of Forests and has chosen not to continue his grievances in the pursuit of a return to his previous position with the Ministry of Environment,” BC Government Employees Union president Stephanie Smith said in an emailed statement.

“Bryce has decided to focus his energy on attaining a PhD in furtherance of interests in environmental sustainability. The Province of B.C. supports his decision.”

Casavant received worldwide attention when he disobeyed an order from his superiors within B.C.’s Ministry of Environment to put the cubs down after their mother was caught ravaging a freezer July 3 in Port Hardy. He shot the mom as being too habituated to humans for rehabilitation, but determined the cubs did not meet the same standard and could be saved.

Boosted by the support of British comedian Ricky Gervais, an online petition for Casavant’s reinstatement eventually passed a total of 300,000 signatures.

Meanwhile, the cubs whose lives Casavant spared remain isolated from human contact at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington, west of Parksville. Dubbed Jordan and Athena, they have emerged from hibernation and are expected to be released back into the wild along with the centre’s other rescue cubs.

“The eight cubs including Jordan and Athena are doing well. They have become active in their enclosure again but nothing really has changed,”  NIWRA wildlife manager Julie Mackey said. “We still do not have any word on release date but are hoping for early summer.”

A new provincial policy for dealing with problem bears is expected to be in place this spring.

Follow me on Twitter @JohnMcKinleyBP

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Uptown lights up the holiday season

Annual event drew crowd of all ages for parade and Christmas tree lighting

High school graduation rates on the rise in Greater Victoria

High school completion up from 71 to 86.8 per cent over 10 years

Pacific Centre Family Services Association a winning design in Colwood

Victoria Real Estate Board winner a welcoming sight

Victoria curling foursome looks to defend provincial title

2019 BC Junior Curling Championships held in Vernon from Dec. 27, 2018 to Jan. 1, 2019

Top tourism executives in B.C. earn almost $1 million

Destination B.C. CEO Marsha Walden received total compensation of $296,487 in 2017-18

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

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

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Most Read