Rescued bear cubs Jordan and Athena, seen above 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, US and beyond. On July 5, 2015 BCGEU 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 has filed a grievance on behalf of the officer and is continuing to press for his full reinstatement.
As the story continues to develop, check out this extensive, and growing list of media coverage, in rough chronological order:
Online petition to reinstate Officer Casavant
North Island Wildlife Recovery Association fundraising site:
http://bit.ly/CO-safety-release - BCGEU news release on staffing cuts to CO service