Casavant campaign begins

Former North Island Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant has announced he is hoping to represent the NDP.

NDP party hopeful Bryce Casavant has started down the campaign trail.

On Aug. 27, Casavant attended the Comox Valley Pride Week barbecue at Simms Park in Courtenay. On Sept. 5, he attended a Labour Day picnic in Comox sponsored by the District Labour Council.

“I will be in Courtenay on Sept. 8 for the public meeting with Courtenay/Alberni MP Gord Jons,” he said.

Casavant made the decision to run for office because “political leadership in this province needs people who are willing to make tough decisions and be held accountable for those decisions.”

Casavant knows all about accountability. He is best known as the Port McNeill based CO who refused to kill two healthy baby bears, subsequently dubbed Jordan and Athena, in Port Hardy last July. His decision resulted in a suspension, followed by a transfer to a different government department.

The baby bear incident made headlines around the world even garnering support from comedian Ricky Gervais.

Prior to his time as a CO and his current position as a Natural Resource Officer, Casavant earned the rank of Corporal in the Canadian Forces, serving in Afghanistan as well as Canada. He also worked as an organizational and security expert for companies in the United States, Paraguay, and British Columbia. Casavant is currently a doctoral candidate at Royal Roads University.

Despite this background, Casavant says campaigning is not easy.

“It’s definitely intimidating starting out as a public figure, but I’m happy to put myself out there to do the right thing for the people of Comox and Courtenay,” he said.

“I really enjoy speaking to community members about the issues that are important to them, and I am really concerned about seniors care in the Comox Valley and elsewhere in the province,” said Casavant. “When I talk about seniors care, I’m speaking of their ability to access services.”

“I’m looking forward to spending the coming months listening to the concerns of families, and working with the community and First Nations to develop solutions both here at home and in Victoria.”

Also at the top of his list of “immediate concerns are clean water, sustainable employment, and a vibrant future for our elders and children.”

Casavant does not know if he will be challenged to represent the riding. The nomination convention date has not been set yet.

The provincial election will be held in May of 2017.