Christy Clark, Ricky Gervais weigh in on bear cub controversy

Conservation Officer to be paid while suspended for saving cubs

  • Jul. 9, 2015 4:00 p.m.

 

Premier Christy Clark weighed in on the controversy surrounding a suspended conservation officer on Wednesday, expressing sympathy for the job done – and decisions made – by Bryce Casavant and his colleagues.

“It’s a really hard job being a conservation officer and having to make those kinds of decisions all the time,” Clark said Wednesday in Pemberton, where she was visiting the base of a 20,000-hectare forest fire nearby.

“My heart goes out to think that those two baby bears might have been shot – as an ordinary citizen,” Clark added. “But the decision about how this is managed will be made by the conservation officer corps, not politicians.”

Casavant was suspended, originally without pay, after he refused to put down two baby bears last weekend in Port Hardy. The bears were to be killed because their mother had at least twice broken into a mobile home and freezer, and the cubs were reported to have been eating garbage – that fact has been contested.

The mother was put down, but Casavant argued the babies weren’t liable for their mothers’ actions, and said he and members of the Port Hardy Fire Department had been working to save the bears.

“I think it is important for the community to know that I am here to do the right thing,” he told the North Island Gazette.

“It’s immoral to shoot a helpless baby bear, they are nursing still. They are not garbage bears. They are infants,” said Rob Hodder, the owner of the broken-into mobile home (via North Island Gazette). “I have an Aboriginal background and deem them to be a sacred animal to our people and I want them to be saved.”

Comedian and Hollywood heavyweight Ricky Gervais drew attention to the case on Tuesday night, Tweeting a link to the CBC’s story on Bryce Casavant’s suspension.

“Reinstate this honourable man,” wrote Gervais. The star of The Office and the most infamous Golden Globes host of all-time often Tweets his support for animals and animal rights, and followed his Casavant Tweet with another more pointed general declaration:

“When you shout for animals, some people want you to shut up. They’ll call you a fanatic, a hypocrite, an extremist, a bore. But shout anyway.”

Casavant is still suspended, but the BCGEU says he will get paid throughout his leave.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read