He is the Baynes' Lawyer.
Doug Christie may appear enigmatic with his western hat and boots and long tailed coat and upturned shirt collar, but he is not an enigma. Far from mysterious, if you spend even a brief time with him you will hear what he thinks. He speaks his mind and in that sense is transparent. He is articulate, astute, conceptually adroit. He like to listen and he wants to be heard. Inherent to his personal, philosophical and professional DNA is a commitment to freedom of speech.
Recently, on April 8, 2010, Christie was invited to speak about free speech at the University of Ottawa. Here is some of what he said (all of it is on his blog called Authenticity.)
“I have learned to talk about free speech but never practice it.”
- “I have to even be careful how I speak about Freedom of Speech.”
- “So let me just speak about freedom of speech. I have come here to praise freedom of speech, not to bury it. I do not want to be cynical or bitter. But since 1984 when I took up the cause of freedom, I have become aware of the price to be paid for this precious legacy of freedom.”
- “My office has been vandalized, repeatedly; my name has been defamed in the press; I have been the target of spurious complaints to law societies, I haven been banned from the precincts of parliament.”
- “The Roman maxim: “Audi Alteram Partem” was over the door of the law library at McGill University where I once spoke. I entered through that doorway to face a hostile screaming mob, much like Ann Coulter faced. They had never met me. They could never hear me. Why did they reject me before hearing me? Why not hear both sides? Sometimes all sides need to be heard. Until they are, how can you really form an intelligent and informed opinion?”
He was born April 1946 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Douglas Hewson Christie, Jr. and is known as Doug Christie, and he is a Canadian lawyer and far-right political activist based in Victoria, British Columbia. He graduated from the law school of the University of British Columbia in 1970. He is best known for defending individuals accused of Nazi war crimes or racist, anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi activity, persons such as James Keegstra, Ernst Zündel, Terry Long, former leader of the Aryan Nations in Canada; Malcolm Ross of New Brunswick who, like Keegstra, was a teacher fired for anti-Semitic activity; three alleged leaders of the Ku Klux Klan in Manitoba; Rudy Stanko of the World Church of the Creator; Tony McAleer after he was charged with broadcasting hate speech over the phone and online; John Ross Taylor of the Western Guard Party and Aryan Nations; Imre Finta who was alleged to be a Nazi war criminal and collaborator (see R. v. Finta); Doug Collins, a late newspaper columnist brought before the British Columbia Human Rights Commission for antisemitic and racist comments; Paul Fromm, head of the far-right "Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform" and "Canadians for Freedom of Expression", and participant in neo-Nazi and racist gatherings, who was fired from his job as a teacher for his political activity; Lady Jane Birdwood, a British follower of Oswald Mosley and distributor of hate propaganda; Wolfgang Droege of the Heritage Front; David Ahenakew, who has acknowledged making antisemitic comments in a 2002 interview with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.
You make a mistake to assume that Christie must share the opinions of all these clients or he would not represent them. You don't understand the man. Another quote from his speech to the University of Ottawa will help to define his motivation.
“We have inherent rights to survive as a free people only to the extent we articulate, manifest with rigorous debate, and listen to, all opinion with an enlightened and critical mind. Let us not presume we are possessed of all knowledge before the discussion starts, and set a limited agenda for social and acceptable speech.”
Christie is general counsel for an organization called the Canadian Free Speech League (CFSL). You will have to ask him why he took on the Bayne case against the Ministry of Children. I can only surmise that as he learned that their protestations of innocence were not even being heard by a Ministry that took their three children yet there was no supporting evidence that they had actually harmed one of the children whom they brought to the hospital for care, his fairness alarm was set off. RCMP gave up their investigation of the Baynes almost routinely back in October 2007 but the Ministry has presumed risk if not guilt for two and one half years because one doctor rendered an understandable but contestable opinion that the child had been shaken. And the Fraser Region of the Ministry has not been interested in the opinions of a dozen medical experts whose assessment of the same medical evidence disputes the foundation of the Ministry case that seeks not to unite but to prevent the Bayne family.