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Vindicated Bryce Casavant Transcript

Vindicated Bryce Casavant transcript of his first Radio Interview with CFAX-1070 on June 4th, 2020 after his case was successfully concluded.


while reading the transcript. Bears Matter thanks CFAX-1070 for the long standing interest in Bryce Casavant case.

June 4th, 2020

There’s a big development in a story that we at CFAX have been following for about 5 years now, it was 2015 where a now former BC Conservation Officer was terminated for refusing to put down two bears cubs near Port Hardy.  I’m sure many long-time listeners will recognize that story, there is an update to that today. So, I have Bryce Casavant on the line with me right now, Bryce thanks for being here. 

BC: Yeah, thanks and I really appreciate, a shout out to team CFAX that have covered the story for so many years and to the public who and the listeners who have supported me this whole time.

So, five years after this all went down, five years after you refused to put down these two bear cubs, and that had major employment ramifications for you, what has taken place now?Vindicated Bryce Casavant Transcript

BC: I never let it go, I pursued this issue through the courts, I argued that at the time that the kill order that was given for the bear cubs, I was a Constable, appointed under the Police Act, and it was my decision whether to discharge my fire arm and kill them or not, and my choice as a Constable was not to kill them.  And we now know all these years later that the BC Court of Appeal has upheld that style of rational and thinking and that’s, I’ve been successful at the Court of Appeal which is BC’s highest court.

That’s something, so for all of these years this has been making its way through the court this argument that, I was in the right, I didn’t do anything wrong here.

 BC: Yes, and especially when we consider the disciplinary process that took place, which is really what the court decision is about.  I was removed as a Special Provincial Constable and Conservation Officer from the service for not killing two bear cubs and the process that I was subjected to was unlawful and I have always maintained that it was unlawful. I was not afforded the rights and protections that the Police Act provides for our Constables in this Province and the Court of Appeal has upheld that.

Now, I don’t mean to have you make the argument against you for us, but what was the argument against you, what argument did you have to defeat in court to have this ruling go in your favor today?

BC: It’s fairly simple and on the public record, no issue talking about it.  The Conservation Officer Service and the then BC Liberal Government Administration, said that well Mr. Casavant was given an order to kill two bear cubs, he didn’t do it, therefore he’s insubordinate and we fired him because he is not generally suitable as a Conservation Officer or Constable.  

And of course on the face of it that sounds, well if you’re not following an order you must be insubordinate, you know we can’t have insubordinate officers running around.  That was sort of their position.  The technical workings of that though and the implications are quite far reaching, so what are you saying, that you can order a Constable to remove their service weapon and kill things, whether it’s a human or non-human, you’re saying any executive member of government can order a Constable to discharge their service weapon. 

I mean, that Ludacris.  That is not how a democratic society works, you can’t order Constables to kill and so that’s the position that I stood on.  You know, it’s my badge, it’s my appointment.  I hold an office, it’s my service weapon and I will decide when it comes out and when it doesn’t.  And when I say no, the answer is no.  And ultimately we now know that is generally speaking the rule.

Apart from giving you the justification that you were right in what you did, what does this ruling mean, in the bigger picture?

BC:  For disciplinary processes, if a, let’s keep it narrow to what the actual issue was before the court.  If a Constables says no I’m not killing something, and the Government has a problem with that, the correct process is to file a complaint against that Constable and have that complaint investigated under the Police Act.  Not some other random government process that the constable has no rights under.  You can’t go you willy-nilly run around and snatch them up from under their post and shove them into a different ministry.

You have to give them their rights and protections that are afforded to them under the Police Act.  So, you know every Conversation Officer in the Province of BC has the right to and the indeed the authority to decline an unlawful kill order, and if the Government has a problem with that they are entitled to the rights and protections of the disciplinary process under the Police Act. 

And this ruling today makes that a bit more clear.

BC: It settles the law on this issue and I think for me, my situation has spanned five years, two different administrations, one under the BC Liberals and the subsequent one under the BC NDP, neither party in power has stood behind be at the end of the day and now it’s come down to a court decision to actually rectify what’s taken place and my message to the government of the day: It is time to respect the rule of law on this matter, the law has been settled, respect the rule of law quit messing around.

Bryce Casavant is my guest, this ruling just came down today, a ruling in his favor after he was terminated in 2015 for refusing to shoot two bear cubs near Port Hardy.  How are you feeling today?

BC: Well, you know, as you know Ryan, I have also recently graduated, sorry completed, graduation impending here but recently completed the Doctorial program and Royal Roads University.  And so, I have achieved my Doctorate in Social Sciences.  I had a research committee spanning 4 different Canadian Universities; Royal Roads, University of Calgary, U Vic, and UBC.

Sarah duBoch, Shelley Alexander, Chris Darimont, Simon Pola 

This research committee has stood behind me for over 4 years of research on this issue and they took a leap of faith on the arguments I was making.  You know, this isn’t just a win for myself it’s a win for many processors crossing four different Universities, it’s a win for the public who stood behind me it’s most certainly a win for my family.  So I am grateful that the courts have truly maintained independence and stood behind our Constables, and that’s important.

 Thank you so much for telling the story and well we’ve been talking to you for 5 years now so, thank you for being there and keeping us in the loop.  Bryce Casavant, is this the end or do you think this goes any further?

BC: I hired a lawyer, and so it was a great decision.  I have now exceeded my element in my area of expertise. I don’t know what the future holds.

We’ll say this: Good bye for now. Have a great day, I know you have earned it, quite the day after 5 years.   Thank you for spending some of that day with us here on CFAX.

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