A B.C. conservation officer who made headlines in 2015 after he was fired for refusing to kill two bear cubs has won his fight over his dismissal in the province’s top court.
Last week, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that Bryce Casavant‘s dismissal should have been addressed under the Police Act since he’d been acting as a special provincial constable, and not under his collective agreement and the Labour Relations Board.
“It nullifies what’s happened,” Casavant told Global News on Tuesday, adding that he feels vindicated by the decision.
“Legally speaking, it’s like (the dismissal) never happened.”
Casavant was suspended from the service in 2015 and later dismissed after he euthanized a bear that had gotten into a mobile home in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island, but he refused to euthanize her two cubs.
Instead, he took them to a veterinarian and then to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association near Parksville.
The cubs were eventually released back into the wild.
The appeal court’s decision does not order the Conservation Officer Service to reinstate him.
“They don’t want to order me to do something that I might not want to do,” said Casavant, who took a job with the Ministry of Forests after he was fired and even ran for office in 2017.
“I think it was a soft approach to work out the consequences now.”
With his dismissal nullified, he is still technically a special constable appointed under the Police Act.
“The legal ramifications of that now need to be worked out between my lawyer and the government’s legal team.”