Friday, July 10, 2015

Mike Newton ordered Bryce Casavant to kill BC bear cubs: unredacted emails

Everyone linked to the leaked emails

According to this story the CBC received an email from "Anonymous hackers" claiming to have exposed the back-and-forth emails between BC conservation officer Bryce Casavant and his superior Mike Newton, who insisted the bear cubs be killed regardless of Casavant's first-hand information and experience at the scene.  The CBC published the leaked emails on their website, with redactions, admitting they were unable to confirm their authenticity.

Bulletproofcourier has confirmed the authenticity of the emails and has decided to publish them unredacted, due to significant public interest in the wildlife conservation policies of our province and the attitudes of those charged with enforcing them.

There were actually 8 people involved in the email chain, with a flurry of CCing going on near the end, all of whom received a copy of the full exchange.  It's more likely one of them leaked it to news organizations rather than Anonymous hackers penetrating BC government email servers.

All of these 8 people are searchable on Google:

1. Mike Newton
2. Bryce Casavant
3. Gord Hitchcock
4. George Buis
5. Helen Schwantje
6. Steve Petrovcic
7. James Hilgemann
8. Gordon Gudbranson

Click through to read the unredacted emails, bottom to top chronologically.

page 1

Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX
From: "Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX" <<>>
To: "Newton, Mike C ENV:EX" <<>>,
"Gudbranson, Gordon ENV:EX"
<<>>, "Hilgemann, James G
ENV:EX" <<>>, "Petrovcic, Steve J
ENV:EX" <<>>
Cc: "Hitchcock, Gord ENV:EX" <<>>,
"Buis, George ENV:EX" <<>>, "Schwantje,
Helen FLNR:EX" <<>>
Subject: Re: High Importance - HWCR 15-6390 Update 2 - PORT MCNEILL - PORT HARDY
I will be maintaining carriage of this file until this situation is resolved. The final result and my decision
may be reviewed by management after with union representation.
At this time I am operating within the full scope of my authorities and appointments. No NIZ officer is
to obstruct me in the lawful execution of my duties.
The cubs have received full medical attention by a veterinarian for health and assessment of their diet
to date. They have not accessed unnatural food at this time. They will be transported in accordance
with provincial policy for a follow up medical assessment and behavioural assessment to determine if
they are rehabilitation candidates.
Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 5, 2015, at 7:33 PM, "Newton, Mike C ENV:EX"
<<>> wrote:
I just left you a message. You are removed from this HWCR effective immediately. Please arrange
immediate transfer of these bears to CO Gudbranson.
They need to be stored in a cool dark place with access to water until that transfer
occurs. Overnight in warehouse is ok. Or, if you are on the road already, stop in Campbell River and
contact CO Gudbranson and arrange transfer.
You do not have the authorization needed to transport those bears to Rehab center/ Errington.
Thanks very much, Mike
Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 5, 2015, at 6:07 PM, Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX
<<>> wrote:
My assessment at this time based on witness statements, health of cubs, full tits on mother, teeth of
cubs, and age is that the cubs have not accessed garbage at this time.
Furthermore, within the conflict matrix they have not posed a risk to public safety at this time and do not fall within the destruction category.
The First Nations on scene are very concerned as is the fire department and adverse public image is a
high risk for the province.
My primary mandate is public safety and the immediate threat has been removed (ie. the sow). My
duties as a law enforcement officer do not include the needless destruction of a baby animal that can
be rehabilitated.
If a provincial vet would like to do a full health and behavioural assessment for potential euthanization
at a later time then that is the call of an informed decision maker who is a qualified veterinarian and will
abide by zoology best practices for the destruction of an animal.
< image.jpeg>

Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 5, 2015, at 3:59 PM, "Newton, Mike C ENV:EX"
<<>> wrote:
Bryce please update our NIZ group over the status of these cubs.
NIZ CO's Dr Schwantje has assessed these garbage habituated cubs and they are to be euthanized
Bryce please reset the trap at this location immediately and provide updates as appropriate to your
team so that we can respond as necessary over the next few days while you are tied up with fire call.
Thx Mike
From: "Newton, Mike C ENV:EX" <<>>
Date: July 3, 2015 at 12:05:37 PM PDT
To: "Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX" <<>>
Cc: "Hitchcock, Gord ENV:EX" <<>>
Subject: Re: accepted - RE: Notification of HWCR 15-6390 - PORT MCNEILL - PORT HARDY
Final decision has been made by Provincial Vet and you have rec'd direction re: what you need to
I know how hard these scenarios are Bryce, and I appreciate your good intentions but sometimes
this is the outcome we need to take.
Req'd for public safety and most humane for these bears in the long term.
Thx Mike
Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 3, 2015, at 11:50 AM, Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX
<<>> wrote:
Just picking up trap.
What about the zoo?
Sent from my iPhone

page 3

On Jul 3, 2015, at 11:01 AM, "Newton, Mike C ENV:EX"
<<>> wrote:
Bryce that is old policy
Redraft is underway. In the meantime FLNRO biologist and Prov Vet make the call on the
borderline/ questionable ones. These bears aren't a borderline call, so I'm afraid we are left with
no other option. Trap and remove from population.
Thx Mike
Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 3, 2015, at 9:46 AM, Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX
<<>> wrote:

It's twin 5lb to 10lb cubs. Are you in cell service?
-----Original Message----From: Newton, Mike C ENV:EX
Sent: Friday, July 3, 2015 9:39 AM
To: Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX
Subject: Re: accepted - RE: Notification of HWCR 15-6390 - PORT MCNEILL - PORT HARDY
Not ever an option for garbage habituated They are not rehab candidates
Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 3, 2015, at 9:38 AM, Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX
<<>> wrote:

Whats the cutoff age for cub rehabilitation?

-----Original Message----From: Newton, Mike C ENV:EX
Sent: Friday, July 3, 2015 9:37 AM
To: Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX
Subject: Re: accepted - RE: Notification of HWCR 15-6390 - PORT
Unfortunately they all need to be euthanized asap Garbage habituated,
inside house, B&E Bears Family unit has to be removed unfortunately No
choice here Asap Thx Mike
Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 3, 2015, at 8:53 AM, Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX
<<>> wrote:

-----Original Message----From: COS North Island Zone ENV:EX
Sent: Friday, July 3, 2015 8:47 AM
To: Newton, Mike C ENV:EX; Gudbranson, Gordon ENV:EX; Petrovcic,
Steve J ENV:EX; Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX; Hilgemann, James G ENV:EX

page 4

Subject: FW: Notification of HWCR 15-6390 - PORT MCNEILL - PORT HARDY

Sent: July-03-15 8:47:06 AM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
To: COS North Island Zone ENV:EX
Subject: Notification of HWCR 15-6390 - PORT MCNEILL - PORT HARDY
Notification of HWCR 15-6390 - PORT MCNEILL - PORT HARDY
You can access the document at the following URL:
e /5E5F36119C7C575E88257E7700560EB3?OpenDocument

Human Wildlife Conflict Report #15-6390 Complaint Received By: DAVID
H (Operations 4 ECC) Date / Time received: 2015-07-03 8:40
Location Description:
Caller Name: ROB
Mail / Street Address: 5980 HARDY BAY RD
Postal Code:
Referred By:
Cellular: 778-269-2144
Incident Date Time: 2015-07-03 8:00
Species Involved: BLACK BEAR
Attractants Noted: FREEZER
Nature of Complaint: FOOD CONDITIONED Action Taken: EMAILED CO
Details: Caller reported that a sow and two cubs have been making daily appearances at his home
for a week and a half. The bears have broken into the caller's freezer, and have managed to grab
garbage from inside the caller's home. The caller has tried to use fire crackers to scare the bears
off, but they do not react to them. The bears have not been aggressive, but one of the cubs had
come within a foot of the caller. The caller had followed the bears' path recently, and thinks that
the bears' den is right behind the house.

From: "Casavant, Bryce ENV:EX" <<>>
Date: July 3, 2015 at 9:54:53 AM PDT
To: "Newton, Mike C ENV:EX" <<>>
Subject: COY Operational Procedure standing since 2009
[New Logo BC_BestPlace]
NAME OF PROCEDURE: Black bear cubs of the year-operational procedure and interim acceptance of

page 5

orphaned grizzly bear cubs- operational procedure
All conservation officers of the Conservation Officer Service, Ministry of
Environment, South Coast Region

1. Reports of abandoned/orphaned black or grizzly bear cubs of the year (COYs) are to be
investigated with the goal of capturing the cubs. Only those persons who are experienced with animal
capture are to be involved in this process.

1. All rescued cubs are to be delivered to a veterinarian for a medical evaluation to determine whether
the bear is suitable for rehabilitation. Those bears deemed not suitable due to medical issues will be
euthanized by the vet. COS will cover the costs of the evaluation and euthanization if required.

1. In those instances where a sow with a COY has come in conflict with humans and the sow's
aggression level is high and the likelihood for success for aversion is considered low, and the
appropriate response is to destroy the sow, the COY(s) are to be captured and transferred to a rehab

1. Contact must be made with the following rehab facilities to determine if they are able to take the
Critter Care (black bear cubs only)
481-216 St
Langley BC
Phone: 604-530-2064
North Island Wildlife Recovery (Vancouver Island black bear cubs only)
1240 Leffler Rd
Errington, BC
250-248 8534
The Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter (grizzly bear cubs only)
17366 Telkwa High Rd
Smithers, BC V0J 2N7
Phone: 250-847-5101

If you are unable to place a COY at the facilities, please consult with your Operations Manager prior to
taking any further action. All bear cubs need to be released near to the geographic area from which
they originated, (within reason in relation to proximity to communities). If a bear from Vancouver
Island goes to Critter Care, necessary arrangements must be in place in order to have the bear
transported back to the Island for release. COS staff are authorized to assist in facilitating transport of
bear cubs to rehab facilities.

page 6

1. Media involvement in either rescue attempts, or at the rehab center needs to be strictly
controlled. Unnecessary stress caused by media engagement can impede the safe rescue and rehab of
the bear cubs, therefore, media must not be invited to either a rescue.

1. Contact your Operations Manager and myself regarding any bear cubs that are delivered to a rehab
This procedure remains in effect as an interim measure until the results of the provincial review of the
rehab policy is finalized.


Lance Sundquist
Regional Manager
Conservation Officer Service
South Coast Region

Bryce Casavant, CMAS, MA
Conservation Officer - General Duty
North Island Zone   Conservation Officer Service   Ministry of Environment
2217 Mine Road   Port McNeill   BC   V0N-2R0
Tel: (250) 956-5162 Desk

RAPP: 1-877-952-7277


Anonymous said...

David is right, no bloody way this was Anonymous hack. CBC should have known better to report as a hack. It's a leak, not hack. Firstly this is not how Anonymous operates and secondly the chain shows at least 8 people were CC'd to receive copy of whole exchange. One of them obviously leaked it to media pretending ot be Anonymous.

If I was an RCMP Internet Detective asking cui bono from leak I would start with the union (internet) connection, ahem.

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