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After refusing to kill bear cubs, ex-conservation officer wins dismissal case in B.C. court
VANCOUVER -- A former conservation officer who was fired for refusing to kill a pair of bear cubs won his dismissal case at the B.C. Court of Appeal.
In 2015, Bryce Casavant defied orders while working as a special provincial constable to euthanize two five-month-old bear cubs after their mother was caught eating salmon from a freezer.
Instead, he moved them to a facility for rehabilitation and they were eventually released into the wild.
Casavant was suspended from his role and later fired. He took that dismissal to court, which ruled in his favour last week.
"I finally feel like the dark cloud is lifting; there's a weight coming off my shoulders for sure and my family," Casavant told CTV News.
While his dismissal has been wiped from his record, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service hasn't been ordered to reinstate him.
The Ministry of Environment, which governs the BCCOS, deferred to the attorney general for comment.
A spokesperson from the ministry of attorney general said the decision was being carefully reviewed and the ministry would not be commenting further at this time.
Meanwhile, the British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union, which represents conservation officers, said in an emailed statement that it was reviewing the recent decision and "will be looking to clarify with the government what their intentions are in the case."
Moving forward, Casavant says he feels the people who made the decision to fire him should be held accountable, especially as the past five years have been challenging for his family both financially and emotionally.