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Supreme Court won’t review ruling in favour of officer who refused to euthanize bears

Click to play video 'Former conservation officer who refused to shoot cubs vindicated by B.C.’s top court' Former conservation officer who refused to shoot cubs vindicated by B.C.’s top court
A former B.C. conservation officer who made international headlines by refusing to shoot two bear cubs in 2015 has been vindicated by the province's Court of Appeal after a five year court battle. Linda Aylesworth reports – Jun 9, 2020

The Supreme Court of Canada will not review a lower-court ruling that was a victory for a conservation officer who refused to euthanize two bear cubs.

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015 after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding a home near Port Hardy on Vancouver Island.

Read more: Ex-B.C. conservation officer fired for refusing to kill bear cubs wins dismissal case

Casavant’s union filed a grievance on his behalf under its collective agreement, but he reached a settlement with his employer before arbitration was completed.

Click to play video 'Former conservation officer running against BC Green Party leader' Former conservation officer running against BC Green Party leader
Former conservation officer running against BC Green Party leader – Jan 11, 2017

Casavant later argued in court that disciplinary actions should have taken place in accordance with British Columbia’s Police Act, given the nature of his employment as a special provincial constable.

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Read more: Do cuts in the number of B.C. conservation officers result in more animals euthanized?

The B.C. Court of Appeal accepted this view last June and nixed Casavant’s firing, prompting the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union to seek a hearing in the Supreme Court.

The union appealed to the high court to gain clarity on the role of collective agreements when members with special constable status face discipline.