North Island baby bear rescuer and armed forces veteran Bryce Casavant is throwing his hat into the political arena.
Casavant has announced he will run in the new provincial Comox/Courtenay riding as an NDP candidate in the 2017 election.
Casavant, who lost his job as a Conservation Officer after refusing to kill healthy cubs Athena and Jordan in 2015, became an international headline that resulted in a public outcry and support from comedian Ricky Gervais.
“Because I did not kill the bear cubs, I was removed from my job by the B.C. Government. The public rallied behind me with over 300,000 supporters and tens of thousands of complaints online and in writing to the Provincial Government,” Casavant said.
“During litigation with my Union and the B.C. Government, I came to a settlement agreement in which I chose to accept a position with the Ministry of Forests and to undertake Doctoral studies in environmental sustainability,” he said in a letter to friends and family.
“I have spent my life doing the right thing and now I want to do the right thing for the people of British Columbia,” he said.
Casavant was born and raised in the Comox Valley and is a Canadian Forces veteran who served in Afghanistan.
He grew up at his family’s property on Powerhouse Road, across the street from Ruth Masters – a local activist legendary for her battles to save properties from Strathcona Park to Clayoquot, and from MacDonald Woods to Seal Bay.
In 2013, Casavant joined the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.
“As a staunch defender of social equality, I felt I must do something. Earlier this week, after a rigourous vetting and screening process, I was officially approved by the B.C. NDP Party as a nomination candidate for the new Comox/Courtenay riding,” Casavant writes.
Casavant is now looking for support. “I am a passionate father who is dedicated to social equality and to our environment. I am asking that you support me in seeking the Courtenay Comox nomination in order to represent NDP members during the May 2017 election.”