Sometimes, doing the right thing can get you in trouble – even fired. And that is what happened to Bryce Casavant, a conservation officer who was let go from his position after he refused to kill two bear cubs. He is pursuing a lawsuit in hopes of getting his position back.
Casavant was working as a public service conservation officer in British Columbia, Canada, back in 2015 when he was given orders to kill three bears, a mama and her two cubs. After shooting the mom, he refused to do the same to the then orphaned black bear cubs.
He was thoroughly against the order and was fired for going against direct orders. But that decision is now something that he is fighting against in an appeals court.
According to court documents directly from the Court of Appeal, Casavant’s actions were described as, “Instead of complying with the kill order, he took the cubs to a veterinarian who assessed them and transferred them to the North Island Recovery Centre.”
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Even though the judge ruled in Casavant’s favor, citing that he acted within the scope of the law when he made the choice to save the bear cubs, Casavant was still not allowed to return to his former position. His request for his badge to be reactivated and his uniform returned was also rejected.
As of the 23 of February, Casavant has filed a lawsuit with his former employer, asking for compensation for the last five years that he’s been out of work, as well as to reinstate him to his job.
As the Toronto Star has reported, Casavant is also asking that he still be a conservation officer give the ruling at the British Columbia Supreme Court.
Acasant shared with the Toronto Star, “I have always maintained that a constable cannot be ordered to kill – it’s an illegal order. Public service policing has been my passion and chosen career path since my early twenties. It is disgraceful and frustrating to be continually denied the ability to immediately return to my post.”
Casavant’s lawyer, Arden Beddoes, is also asking that following a reinstatement, his salary be bumped up from $55,000 to $75,000. Beddoes said, “Mr. Casavant simply wants the job which was unlawfully taken from him back. The process that was used to take his job was declared void by the Court of Appeal, so there is no lawful basis for the province to deny him that.”
According to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre where the cubs, named Jordan and Athena, were transferred, they’re both healthy and doing well. They’ve been released back into the wild have established their own territories.
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