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Arguing he had discretion over what to do with them, he took the cubs to a veterinarian, who assessed and transferred them to an animal rescue organization that later released them into the wild.
He was deemed “unsuitable for the job of conservation officer,” and moved to a job in the Ministry of Forests without the status of special constable.
The BCGEU initially filed a grievance in the case, but eventually reached a settlement with the province, which Casavant asked to be set aside. Casavant then fought and lost a judicial review at the B.C. Supreme Court.
However, on appeal, a panel of the B.C. Court of Appeal decided in his favour, ruling that the Labour Board “does not have jurisdiction over Mr. Casavant’s dismissal,” according to the decision written by Judge Lauri Ann Fenlon on behalf of the panel.
Now, Casavant said, his “own union has turned on me” by appealing the decision of B.C.’s highest court. “It is gut wrenching.”
In its application, BCGEU counsel argue that the Court of Appeal decision creates confusion for its members with special provincial constable status facing discipline, replacing the robust grievance and arbitration mechanism under their collective agreement “with a skeletal process” in regulations under the Police Act.
“The decision is inconsistent with decades of jurisprudence in which arbitrators (at the B.C. Labour Relations Board) have taken jurisdiction over the discipline and discharge of employees with special provincial constable status,” the application reads.