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Bryce Casavant’s Essay ‘To Conserve and Protect’ Oct 26, 2017

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Talking about public trust and how wildlife enforcement in British Columbia is conducted and perceived isn’t always simple, but it is an integral part to ensuring our democratic values are upheld.

In my history as a soldier with combat experience in the Canadian Forces Military Police, and as a Conservation Officer in British Columbia, I have practical experience with the concepts of officer discretion. And that is the subject of the essay I have written: To Conserve and Protect.

With this essay I raise questions pertaining to the state’s jurisdiction and authority to destroy wildlife, and to argue that the destruction of wildlife experiencing conflict must be justifiable. Though the subject may seem straight-forward, there is, ironically, conflict between the various Acts and both written and unwritten policies within multiple levels of law enforcement.

The discussion within is based on the premise that officer discretion is essential to the overall public trust in the local community and greater society, what that looks like, and how we can ensure that a transparent, and open public discussion on the nature of wildlife enforcement agencies in British Columbia takes place.

A technical report will follow shortly, showing a statistically significant relationship between officer’s killing of animals, the “appropriateness” of the actions, and levels of public confidence in British Columbia.


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