Conservation Officer suspension story goes international | National Union of Public and General Employees

Conservation Officer suspension story goes international

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.

photo of two bear cubs

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: - Van Sun - Province - CBC - Globe & Mail - Times Colonist - Global BC News - CTV BC News - National Post - CBC - Times Colonist - CHEK TV - Global News - Calgary Sun - Huffington Post BC - Times Colonist - Digital Journal (10 must-read articles)  - Q13 Fox (Seattle) - Public Radio International: The World online - Weather Network - Global BC News - Vancouver Sun - Upworthy online story - Parksville-Qualicum News editorial/comments
UK Daily Mail story on officer and bear cubs

North Island Wildlife Recovery Association fundraising site

More information: 

BCGEU donation to bear cubs

BCGEU news release on staffing cuts to CO service


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

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