Overwhelming support for BCGEU/NUPGE conservation officer who refused to euthanize bear cubs.
Vancouver (20 July 2015) — Rescued bear cubs Jordan and Athena, seen below at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre (NIWRC), are at the centre of a dramatic story that has reached beyond our borders to the UK, U.S. and beyond.
Conservation officer took orphaned bear cubs to vet and for rehabilitation
On July 5, 2015 BCGEU/NUPGE conservation officer Bryce Casavant was suspended without pay after refusing an order to put down the bear cubs. Casavant had already euthanized their mother, who was habituated to humans and had repeatedly broke into a freezer at a home near Port Hardy, looking for food. Instead, he took the cubs to a vet for assesment and then to the NIWRC for recovery and rehabilitation.
After a massive public outcry — including expressions of support from actor, writer and director Ricky Gervais, as well as satirist and commentator Bill Maher, and an online petition asking for the conservation officer's reinstatement that has attracted hundreds of thousands of signatures — the government announced that Casavant's pay would be restored pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation. The BCGEU/NUPGE has filed a grievance on behalf of the officer and is continuing to press for his full reinstatement.
Public and media interest builds across borders
As the story continues to develop, check out this extensive, and growing list of media coverage, in rough chronological order:
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension - Van Sun
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension1 - Province
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension2 - CBC
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension3 - Globe & Mail
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension4 - Times Colonist
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension5 - Global BC News
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension6 - CTV BC News
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension7 - National Post
http://bit.ly/gervais-support-CO - CBC
http://bit.ly/bear-cubs-named - Times Colonist
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension8 - CHEK TV
http://bit.ly/gervais-support2 - Global News
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension9 - Calgary Sun
http://bit.ly/CO-suspension10 - Huffington Post BC
http://bit.ly/CO-editorial-TC - Times Colonist
http://bit.ly/digital-journal-article - Digital Journal (10 must-read articles)
http://bit.ly/Q13Fox-bear-cubs - Q13 Fox (Seattle)
http://bit.ly/PRI-bear-cub-story - Public Radio International: The World online
http://bit.ly/weather-network-cub-story - Weather Network
http://bit.ly/CO-staff-cuts-Global - Global BC News
http://bit.ly/black-bear-kills-down - Vancouver Sun
http://bit.ly/upworthy-cub-story - Upworthy online story
http://www.pqbnews.com/opinion/315039341.html - Parksville-Qualicum News editorial/comments
UK Daily Mail story on officer and bear cubs
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE